Source: Gush Shalom
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Source: Gush Shalom
The Israeli organization of composers and writers had awarded her a prize for Life Achievement. Though only 44 years old, she certainly deserved it. She is a wonderful singer.
Noa (as she is called abroad) did something very unusual: she refused the prize.
Her reason: another singer, Ariel Zilber, was to receive the same distinction with her.
Noa is an outspoken leftist. Zilber is an outspoken rightist. Is that a reason to refuse a prize?
Throughout the country there was an outcry. How dare she? What about freedom of expression? What about artistic liberty?
Rightists denounced her vociferously. They were joined by many righteous leftists. True, they say, Zilber is a rightist, but democracy demands that freedom of expression be safeguarded for all, even -- and especially -- for those who express objectionable views.
Even old Voltaire was brought into the fray. "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
SO WHAT has Zilber said that moved Noa to refuse to stand with him on the same platform?
For one thing, he has expressed his abysmal hatred for homosexuals. "To be a homo is a perversion," he declared, and demanded that they be banned from society.
Not only they. All secular people. "The seculars have nothing to offer, only to get sick with AIDS and look at naked women. Phooey!"
Gays and seculars are not the only damned people. Leftists may be even worse. "All leftists should be expelled and sent to the devil. They are Amalek!" As every Jew knows, God commanded the Children of Israel to kill all Amalekites so that their very name be eradicated forever. King Saul, a national hero, was dethroned by the prophet Samuel because he did not kill all his Amalekite prisoners, men, women and children.
But this is only part of Zilber's public persona. He also believes that Yigal Amir, the assassin of Yitzhak Rabin, should be immediately released. He praised Baruch Goldstein, the settler who murdered 29 Muslims at prayer in the Hebron Ibrahimia mosque (called by Jews the "Cave of Machpela.")
He also sympathizes with the "Price Tag" thugs, the Ku Klux Klan settlers who go out at night to terrorize defenseless Arab villagers. They do the right thing, because "the Arabs are not worth anything. They don't know how to do anything but kill!"
To cap it all, Zilber proclaimed: "Kahane was right!" Rabbi Meir Kahane was condemned by the Supreme Court of Israel as a fascist, and his "Kach" movement was outlawed -- an almost unique judgment where Jews are concerned. To round things off, Zilber also wrote and composed a song on this theme.
Uri Avnery is a longtime Israeli peace activist. Since 1948 has advocated the setting up of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. In 1974, Uri Avnery was the first Israeli to establish contact with PLO leadership. In 1982 he was the first Israeli ever to meet Yassir Arafat, after crossing the lines in besieged Beirut. He served three terms in the (more...)