Death threats force Arab Israeli Eurovision singer to cancel London appearance at Israel Independence Day show – Mira Awad, the Arab Israeli singer who represented Israel at the last Eurovision Song Contest, has been forced to withdraw from the ZF Israel Independence Day Concert in London due to death threats made against her and her family. The singer is half of a duo with Achinoam Nini, also known as Noa, another of Israel’s top artists, and they perform internationally to packed audiences, promoting a unique message of peace and co-existence. The ZF who have organised annual Israel Independence Day events in Britain for many years took the decision to invite them to headline the show and celebrate the diversity of the Israeli population, of which almost 20% are non-Jewish citizens, mainly Arabs. Mira Awad’s Manager said: “Mira and Noa’s message is about finding a peaceful way forward. It is tragic that when both sides try to come together by any means possible to build a better future for Israel and its citizens, there are those prepared to use violence and intimidation to destroy it.” Mira will remain in Israel whilst Noa performs at the London concert, her first appearance in 6 months since giving birth to a daughter. The ZF’s Executive Director Alan Aziz said: “Our concert is a celebration of independence but it’s also about building understanding. Mira wanted to be the Arab Israeli voice promoting a peaceful way forward, and the threats to her life expose the real truth behind the conflict - that everyone is hostage to extremism, and it is a dangerous and growing phenomenon that denies Israel’s right to exist, and the world’s right to democracy.”
Needless to say, the death threats, surely the most dreadful type of muzzling short of actual physical harm, are not the type of intimidation that MuzzleWatch and Jewish Voice for Peace tend to concern themselves with. They fail JVP's ideological litmus test. It is, after all, an Israeli Arab moderate, someone who genuinely and boldly supports coexistence in Israel, who's being so brutishly intimidated.
Speaking of moderates, a planned lecture by Palestinian journalist Khaled Abu Toameh's at Tufts University has been derailed. Not by violent extremists opposed to coexistence with Jews. This time, it's the student group Tufts Friends of Israel (!!) that's preventing the moderate voice from being heard on campus.
Abu Toameh is soon to arrive in the US for a lecture tour sponsored by Hasbarah Fellowships, but the planned stop at Tufts requires sponsorship by a campus group. Tufts Friends of Israel pulled out, apparently worried that a speaker who is, well, a friend of Israel (and of the Palestinian people) would be seen as "controversial" by less temperate members of the Tufts community.