Madonna under fire as Israel concert draws heavy media flak
French National Front considers legal action for use of Marine Le Pen image with swastika.
France's far-right National Front is considering a lawsuit against Madonna over a video she used during her concert in Israel on Thursday night. The clip showed party leader Marine Le Pen with a swastika on her forehead.
While she performed the song "Nobody Knows Me" in Ramat Gan Stadium, Madonna showed a video in which her face was collaged with a number of well-known personalities. The face of Marine Le Pen appeared for a few seconds with a swastika affixed to her forehead before dissolving into a composite character resembling Adolf Hitler.
The concert, which opened Madonna's 65-city MDNA world tour, received mixed reviews from the international press, which provided extensive coverage - around 80 foreign journalists were here for the performance.
"For a show that was originally billed as a 'Concert for Peace,' the opening night of Madonna's world tour in Tel Aviv, Israel, featured a disproportionate amount of violence," the critic from The Hollywood Reporter wrote, citing the guns and religious imagery used during the first part of the concert.
Dan Williams of Reuters filed a similar report, saying, "Pop superstar Madonna kicked off a new world tour on Thursday wishing peace on the Middle East, even as she showcased grim dance routines depicting violence and bloody gunmen among her more colorful numbers."
Gossip blogger Perez Hilton, who attended the concert, wrote, "Nobody puts on a show quite like Madonna! No one even comes close! Her meticulous work ethic and perfectionism is evident in everything she does and is especially evident in her tours, like the one she kicked off in Tel Aviv on Thursday night."
Many critics praised the production element of the show more than Madonna's own performance. Bloomberg Businessweek's Calev Ben-David wrote, "In terms of stagecraft, concertgoers got their money's worth." But he was critical of her routine itself, noting, "With extensive use of audio playback, including whole songs when Madonna disappeared from the stage for costume changes, it wasn't easy to know when one is actually hearing her live voice."