Mohammed Assaf, the Gazan winner of 2013's Arab Idol contest, was answering questions from fans in a Skype phone-in this week when he received a comment from an Israeli caller who said:
"You should come to Israel...you have Israeli blood," the fan said.
Assaf replied – "I spit on you and Israel" – before going on to answer other fans' questions. It is not clear if the fan was a Jew or an Arab.
"I don't want to talk about this issue too much," Assaf told The New Arab afterward. "The person who said that wanted to provoke me and it's known that the issue of Palestine and the Palestinian people is one of my top priorities."
Blogger Elder of Ziyon noted that in 2013, UNRWA declared Assaf to be its "Youth Ambassador," and announced that he would "promote peace, security and other universal values." Since then, though, he has released music videos and sent out messages on social media that extol terror. UNRWA did not seem to mind, and extended his contract as Youth Ambassador.
Assaf was a wedding singer from Khan Younis when he auditioned for the Arab Idol competition in Cairo and eventually took first place. In the course of the contest he reportedly dedicated his performance to the "shaheeds (martyrs)."
On official PA TV last April, he reprised his winning song from the Idol contest, "Oh Flying Bird." As translated by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), the song claims numerous Israeli cities far west of the "green line," including the coastal cities of Haifa and Akko (Acre), as well as Tzfat (Safed), Tiberias, Nazareth and Beit She'an, as part of "beautiful Palestine."