Singer Blames Media for Threats Over Political Song

Amir Benayun increases security but says he is not afraid of extremists

“The media has my blood on its hands,” said singer Amir Benayun on Yael Dan’s Army Radio show Sunday.

Benayun said he called the police after his family received phone threats, which he tied to angry reactions to his song “Ani Ahikha” ‏(I am your brother‏), which he released two weeks ago.

Singer Amir Benayun
Motti Kimche

Benayun said he increased his security coverage but added that he is not afraid.
“I drive them ‏(the media‏) crazy. They have created a monster that is going to turn on them, has built up crime families, has formed a huge gap in Israeli society, has nurtured a boy who smashes a car window and steals a radio/tape player and gets four years in jail, and someone who betrays the country and endangers our lives and gets house arrest and can watch telenovelas and probably order pizza,” said Benayun.

“Ani Ahikha” includes lines such as, “I’m watching over your identity, I’m protecting your children, I’m sacrificing my life for your family and you spit in my face,” which were perceived as a move by Benayun to join Im Tirtzu’s campaign against the New Israel Fund and human rights organizations. Other parts of the song were seen as a protest against the Anat Kamm affair.

Benayun told Dan on her show that for him, the problem is extremists.

“It’s inconceivable for the fringes to run the country ... I’m not going to give in. I don’t plan to leave this world alone. I say I’m going all the way, the time has come for some form of protest.”

Musician Zeev Tene, who last month took part in a concert to show solidarity with the New Israel Fund at Tel Aviv’s Levontin 7, said in response to Benayun’s remarks: “Israel is turning into a democracy on paper. Democracy is not the right of the majority to silence the minority, and the recent incitement campaigns in which Benayun’s song was a component make Israel too similar to Iran or China.”