Ahead of Concert, Right-wingers Seek to Silence Israeli Singer Over 'anti-Zionism'

The effort to cancel her scheduled performance this week accuses Achinoam Nini of injecting 'political content in her shows.' Nini responds: 'I love my country and I'm a proud Zionist.'

Achinoam Nini
Dudu Bachar

Right wing activists have drawn up a petition to try and cancel a performance scheduled for Wednesday by singer Achinoam Nini, in the remote desert town of Mitzpeh Ramon.

The online petition accuses Nini of being a “provocateur who supports anti-Zionist, anti-Israel and anti-government values.”

The petition, which has thus far mustered 795 signatures, also alleges that “the singer injects political content in her shows. Recently the singer dropped a few words from ‘Jerusalem of Gold’ in one of her performances.”

Nini has spoken out against the occupation and against attempts to silence and censor artists. She has angered right-wing activists, including Shai Glick, known for his attempts to silence artists and groups such as “B’Tselem” and “Breaking the  Silence.”

Glick is behind the latest petition, and he has tried in the past as well to get her performances cancelled.

Asked by Haaretz why he was targeting the Mitzpeh Ramon gig, Glick replied that many of its residents are right-wing and could identify with the petition.

Glick also said that the show was being paid for by the local council.  He added that the producers had rejected his suggestion to add another performer to the show.

Nini said in response “I am excited to meet music fans in Mitzpeh Ramon. I understand that during periods of deep controversy there are those who promote the cause of inciting people. But even those people ought to be  more accurate, I love my country and I’m a proud  Zionist. I immigrated to Israel due to Zionism. I differ with the Israeli government which only worsens violent conflict which  is tearing apart the two peoples living between the Jordan River and the sea.”

Gadi Lybrook, director of the Mitzpeh Ramon community center, the planner behind Nini’s performance in the town’s jazz club, said he was surprised by the attention the show was getting.

“We didn’t think it would go this way. We knew there were objections to Achinoam in all sorts of places. On the  other hand, most people who signed the petition don’t live here, and are right-wing activists who have nothing to do with this place,” Lybrook said.