Watch: Leftist singer performs in Samaria

Achinoam Nini, who is known for her leftist views, visited Samaria, met local residents, and sang with a children's choir.

Elad Benari ,

Achinoam Nini sings in Samaria
Achinoam Nini sings in Samaria
Hillel Maeir

Singer Achinoam Nini, who is known for her leftist views, visited the community of Leshem in western Samaria, together with the head of the Shomron Regional Council Yossi Dagan, and held a dialogue with locals.

The meeting, attended by more than 100 participants, followed two years of contacts between Dagan and Nini, which began after she asked to visit Samaria.

Nini met with Dagan at her home and later came on a tour of Samaria, where she met with residents of Samaria in the living room of one the residents of Barkan.

"I came to this meeting to hear, answer questions in order to get to know, in the name of dialogue which is very important to me. I hope this is the beginning of a process that will not stop here. Dagan invited us to visit Samaria two years ago and we came and I felt that it was not enough and the conversation should continue," Nini said.

"I asked for another meeting with more people. I don't think we'll solve all the problems here and we won't agree on a lot of things, but I think our country is undergoing a dangerous process of demonizing of the other side, a lot of incitement. We need to counteract that. The only way to accomplish that is to meet without mediators," she added.

Yossi Dagan told those in attendance, "We are one people. We can have disagreements, but we agree on one thing, that we are brothers and not boycotting each other. Samaria has always seen itself as a bridge between populations. We believe in connecting everyone to the place that is the cradle of our existence and the foundation of the history of the Jewish people's formation."

At the end of the event, Nini went up to sing with the Alei Zahav Leshem children’s choir, conducted by Naama Zanbar, the choir director, who also wrote a song about Samaria performed by Ariel Zilber. Zenbar is currently working together with Nini in an effort to produce a unifying song together.

A year ago, Nini visited the Jewish community in Hevron. Such meetings would not have been possible in the past, as Nini had spoken out against performing in Judea and Samaria.

In 2016, she made headlines over her boycott of Israeli singer Ariel Zilber due to his rightist views.

That year, Nini announced her intention to quit the Israeli Union of Performing Artists (IUPA) following its decision to honor Zilber with a lifetime achievement award.

The year before that, when Zilber was due to win a lifetime achievement prize from ACUM (Union of Composers, Writers and Publishers in Israeli Music), Nini announced she would not accept a prize from ACUM so long as Zilber was being honored as well.

She also spoke out against a 2016 rally supporting Elor Azariya, the IDF soldier who was convicted for shooting dead a neutralized terrorist, calling him a "murderer."