Dovish Israeli singer abused for her election stance

Noa wrote on Facebook that she was heckled by onlookers after arriving at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport from Italy. (Facebook)

Israeli singer and peace activist Noa has said she was threatened and abused when she returned from a trip abroad last week, after the right triumphed in a heated general election.

Known in Israel by her full name of Achinoam Nini, Noa wrote on Facebook that she was heckled by onlookers after arriving at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport from Italy.

"Here's Achinoam Nini... enemy of Israel," she quoted them as shouting. "We'll deal with you like Geffen!"

Singer and author Jonathan Geffen was attacked at his home in a village in central Israel at the weekend, after calling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's March 17 election victory the "Nakba" of the Israeli peace movement.

Nakba (Arabic for catastrophe) is the term used by Palestinians for the foundation of the state of Israel in 1948.

Noa wrote in a blog post that waking up to the victory of rightwing and religious parties was "a black day".

"I was depressed and devastated after months of hard work and hope that this time we would finally rid ourselves of Netanyahu," it said.

"To think that his horrible racist statements in the last days were those that gave him the victory! It killed me," she wrote in English.

Spurring supporters of his Likud to mobilise on polling day, a Facebook page belonging to Netanyahu warned "the right-wing government is in danger... Arab voters are coming out in droves."

The comment earned the Israeli premier a sharp rebuke from the White House.

Noa's Facebook page lists several organizations for Arab-Jewish coexistence among causes she supports, including the Centre for Jewish-Arab Education in Israel, Peace Now, Ta'ayush Arab Jewish Partnership and grassroots dialogue group OneVoice.

In 2009 she and Arab-Israeli singer Mira Awad represented Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest with a duet entitled "There Must be a Another Way." They came 16th.

OneVoice was named in a Likud petition to the Central Elections Committee claiming that it was indirectly funding Netanyahu's election opponents but the complaint was dismissed.
 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:45 - GMT 06:45
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