Yehoram Gaon
Yehoram GaonIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Veteran Israeli singer Yehoram Gaon is proud and happy to sing anywhere in the Land of Israel, he told Arutz Sheva in an interview Sunday. To those who criticized him for appearing in Sebastia, the ancient Roman site in Samaria, Gaon had a message: “Any place where there are Jews I go to sing, and all the more so when these are Israeli Jews. This is what I do.”

Gaon, a hitmaker in Israel since the 1960s and the star of many movies and television shows – among them 1977's Operation Thunderbolt, the story of Israel's rescue of hostages from Uganda in 1976 – is set to appear in Sebastia Sunday night, as part of a series of cultural events to be held in Samaria this summer. Because Sebastia is in Samaria, leftist media outlets have slammed Gaon for “working against peace” by agreeing to perform for “occupiers.”

Gaon said that he had heard some of the criticism, but basically ignored it, calling it a “small annoyance.” With that, he said, the opinions against the show were not as widespread as people thought.

When asked if the “elites” of the Israeli music business – which also has a heavy concentration of leftists – had given him a cold shoulder, Gaon chuckled and said that he himself was the elite of Israeli singers, so any lesser singer who decided to “boycott” him for his show would be the one experiencing a loss.

“As a singer with 50 years' experience, I think I have a right to believe that I am in the top echelon of singers. Others in this category may oppose what I do, but it is only a small group of them, certainly not all of them. And I have absolutely no interest in them.”