Leonard Cohen lands in Israel

News about Leonard Cohen and his work, press, radio & TV programs etc.
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Re: Norman? :-)

Post by seadove » Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:17 pm

You can have a look at the stadium under final preparations:

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Re: Norman? :-)

Post by seadove » Thu Sep 24, 2009 3:10 pm

Here are the names of some VIP's that will attend the concert:

Eitan Wertheimer
Idan Ofer
Nochi Dunkner
Sherry Arison
Isaac Tshuva
Dudi Weismann
Joseph Rozen
Joseph Meimon
Mathew Bronfman
Shalom Fisher
Eliezer Fishman
Eli Horovitz
Shalom Yanai
Moti Friedman
Igal Breightman
Ariel Lin

And the ministers:

Silvan Shalom
Buzi Hertsog
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Re: Norman? :-)

Post by mutti » Thu Sep 24, 2009 3:19 pm

Have a great time tonight everyone!
Will be thinking of you all day..starting at 10am here (10 hours behind you)
and look forward to any you tubes or photos you can post.
We are with you in spirit...
First Barcelona and now Ramat Gan...
emotional.. 8) :lol: 8)
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Re: Norman? :-)

Post by oskie98 » Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:52 pm

What a splendid combination: Leonard Cohen and Israel. The beloved man in the beloved country!
Congratulations to all Israeli fans.
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Washington Post article

Post by sirius » Fri Sep 25, 2009 12:07 am

Singer Leonard Cohen Caught Up in Israeli-Palestinian Rift

By Howard Schneider
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, September 24, 2009 3:45 PM
Washington Post
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 84_pf.html

RAMAT GAN, Israel, Sept. 24 -- Singer-poet Leonard Cohen's first concerts for Israelis weren't in Israel. They were for troops in the then-occupied Sinai Peninsula of Egypt, part of a morale-boosting tour that the Montreal native gave during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Thirty-six years later, for what has been billed as the Concert for Reconciliation, Tolerance and Peace, the 75-year-old grandfather of angst-pop is again embroiled in the Arab-Israeli conflict. This time he is the target of a boycott campaign that aims to discourage artists, singers, writers and others from performing or touring in Israel.

As he went onstage Thursday night in a 45,000-seat soccer stadium near Tel Aviv, it was to accusations that he had betrayed his humanist and Buddhist principles to "a kind of validation" of Israel's occupation of the West Bank, said Shir Hever, an economist and activist with the Alternative Information Center, a group opposed to Israel's policies toward Palestinians.

Though proceeds of the show already were intended for a Palestinian-Israeli reconciliation fund started for the occasion by Cohen, the singer also decided over the summer to balance the schedule with a much smaller companion concert in the West Bank city of Ramallah. "He was mindful of the conflict" when he decided to perform here after a long absence, said manager Roger Kory. The Ramallah concert came under fire as a "pity performance" and was canceled.

"Idiotic" said Ron Pundak, an Israeli negotiator at the Oslo peace talks in the 1990s and a board member of the fund Cohen established. At a reception before the concert, members of the mainstream Israeli peace movement criticized what they regard as fringe groups trying to undercut cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians.

But it was Cohen who "missed the point," Hever said. "Palestinians don't want appeasement, they want recognition of their rights." Israelis "point out the willingness of people like Madonna and Leonard Cohen to give shows as a sign that Israel is normal, like a European country. It evades responsibility."

"I had no idea it would be so difficult to do something simple and good," Kory said on the eve of the concert. The charity benefiting from the show was designed around Cohen's desire to help Palestinians and Israelis who have lost family members in the conflict and are working toward reconciliation -- the type of "transcendence," Kory said, that Cohen often talks about in his songs and poetry.

Boycotts are nothing new in Israel. The Arab League has had one in place for decades and even countries such as Egypt and Jordan, which have made peace with their neighbor, have been reluctant partners. The absence of war on those borders has not translated into the type of "normalization" that President Obama is trying to advocate for the region.

But a scattered collection of grass-roots boycott efforts, organized here and abroad by Israelis, Palestinians and others, have scored enough recent successes that it has registered with Israeli businesses and politicians. Those activists, for example, have pushed Europeans to enforce restrictions against supporting West Bank settlements. Alongside a recent United Nations Human Rights Council report on last winter's war in the Gaza Strip, Israeli officials have stepped up diplomatic and other efforts to push back against what they see as a challenge to the country's standing around the world.

In the aftermath of the Gaza War, a survey by the Manufacturers Association of Israel found that some 20 percent of its members said their business had been affected by overseas efforts to boycott Israeli products. Norway recently ordered a government-held investment fund to sell about $5 million of stock in Israeli high-tech company Elbit Systems because the firm has supplied surveillance equipment for the security barrier running around and through the West Bank. A college located in the West Bank city of Ariel was kicked out of a solar architecture competition in Spain.

Cohen was, by the standards of such things, a significant target. A Jew but not an Israeli, his body of work is more deeply philosophical and his outlook more universalist than that of, say, Madonna, who blithely wrapped herself in the Star of David flag during her recent concerts here, dined with top Israeli politicians, and kept the profits as well. Her shows over the summer, along with recent appearances by artists including Depeche Mode and Lady Gaga have added to the sense that Israel has become a more regular part of the world concert scene.

But Cohen has a special place, and Kory said the politics surrounding his show here registered deeply and almost forced a cancellation.

The singer is a bit of a national obsession. The counterculture favorite "First We Take Manhattan" and renditions of the anthemic "Hallelujah" are radio staples. Despite the controversy, Cohen's concert Thursday, which was part of an extensive world tour, sold out quickly.

There is no doubt, Kory said, that Cohen's Jewish heritage and connection with Israel have influenced his work, but his decision to perform is meant to send a broader message of its own.

"How can you boycott a good heart like Leonard Cohen?" said Ali Abu Awwad, a West Bank resident whose brother was killed by Israeli forces and who now works on reconciliation efforts. "We have loss and pain but still believe in peace and reconciliation. We come without labels to talk in one voice. It's not our destiny to keep dying."
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Re: Washington Post article

Post by Carmen » Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:24 am

There are so many interesting newspaper articles about this concert and they come on so many different threads ... very difficult to keep up with them - but I'm doing my best to do so!

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Re: Leonard Cohen lands in Israel

Post by RoyJerusalem » Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:56 pm

Cohen builds a glorious, spiritual Tower of Song

Leonard Cohen, 75, the Canadian singer-poet sometimes derided for making music to slit your wrists to, energized and transported a packed Ramat Gan stadium to a vibrant spiritual high on Thursday night.

"I don't know if we will pass this way again," he told the audience early in the concert, but then promised "to give it everything tonight."

And so he did, with a set list drawn from throughout the decades of his career.

Live, however, and backed by a sumptuous group of musicians, his songs transcended their recorded versions. A magnificent "Who By Fire," for instance, began with an oriental flourish and featured an exquisite harp passage.

The biblical basis of songs like that one have always resonated uniquely in the Israel psyche, and hearing them delivered with such poignancy and conviction, in these days ahead of Yom Kippur, made for a particularly unforgettable experience.

On a warm summer evening, with a light breeze, the crowd applauded ecstatically when Cohen played favorites like "Bird on the Wire" and "Dance Me to the End of Love," but were utterly, respectfully silent in the quieter passages of songs, responding to Cohen's obvious passion and sincerity.

Cohen's voice was strong, and gravelly, as ever, his delivery clear, and his eyes closed in concentration during key verses.

Cohen spoke admiringly of the The Parents Circle-Families Forum group, to which part of the proceeds from this concert are going, praising bereaved Israeli and Palestinian parents for "the nobility of this exercise" in reconciliation.

Their effort, he said, represented a "holy holy holy response to human suffering" and "God willing" it could mark the beginning of a process toward peace.

Earlier in the evening, Cohen's manager Robert Kory, novelist David Grossman and other local dignitaries inaugurated the Fund for Reconciliation, Tolerance and Peace in a tent outside the stadium.

The fund will be financed with proceeds from the concert, which are estimated at $2 million, and will be directed to organizations working with Israeli and Palestinian organizations committed to reconciliation.

Besides The Parents Circle, the initial recipients of the funds include the Palestinian Center of Research and Information, Radio Kol Hashalom and Saving Children-the Peres Center for Peace.

"Leonard decided that if he was going to play in Israel, he wanted the money to stay here," Kory said. "We've met so many Israelis and Palestinians in doing this who are committed to peace."

Grossman, whose son Uri, 20, was killed in the Second Lebanon War in August 2006, praised the initiative.

"It seems so easy to believe that war is the only possibility and that Israelis and Palestinians will continue to kill each other," he said. "But those gathered here tonight know what we have inflicted upon each other and the price we have paid. Leonard Cohen, through his art, indicates that he understands this suffering."

Ali Abu Awwad, an activist in the Parents Circle from the village of Beit Umar, whose brother was killed by the IDF, said that the common bond of the gathering was a group of broken hearts.

"We are stuck in being right; we came here to be successful," he said.

Talking about pressure from Palestinians that led to a boycott of a proposed show in Ramallah, Awwad said, "I can't boycott a heart as big as Leonard Cohen's."

Upon leaving the event to go to the concert, Kory told The Jerusalem Post, "That was the hard part. The concert is going to be easy."

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite? ... 2FShowFull
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Re: Leonard Cohen lands in Israel

Post by RoyJerusalem » Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:01 pm

WATCH: Leonard Cohen performs in front of 50,000 in Israel


Veteran singer Leonard Cohen took to the stage at Ramat Gan stadium on Thursday night after breaking an Israeli record when all the tickets for his show were sold out in less than 12 hours, despite costing between NIS 1,000 and 1,200.

Seconds after Cohen took to stage in his legendary tailored suit and hat the 75-year-old singer-songwriter softly uttered a Hebrew prayer in front of some 50 thousand people curious to see how the frail looking man planned to overcome the distance between the stage and the people tens of meters in the back.

Ramat Gan stadium was not the most suitable venue for a Leonard Cohen concert. The sound was not at its best and the intimacy factor between the singer and his audience seemed at first somewhat non-existent.

But the very instant the music began and Cohen opened his mouth to sing "Dance Me to the End of Love," his celebrated deep voice overcame each and every centimeter of distance and signaled the triumphant tone of the entire evening. In the first half of the concert the Canadian virtuoso played his early hits such as "Bird on a Wire" and "Chelsea Hotel" before skipping off the stage like a young boy for a 15 minute break.

As expected Cohen saved his most anticipated songs for the second and most memorable half of the show, "Famous Blue Raincoat," "Hallelujah" and "First We Take Manhattan" which raised the entire stadium to its feet.

Everyone in the audience felt like Cohen was personally singing to them and the enthusiastic and even ecstatic crowd wouldn't let the singer leave until his third encore.

Cohen himself appeared touched by the gesture and in return held one of the most inspiring concerts of the season.

Before the concert, an event was held in the VIP section of the stadium for the Leonard Cohen Fund for Reconciliation, Tolerance and Peace, which gives support to bereaved Israeli and Palestinian families. At this event, grants were given to people who have suffered personally from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but continue to believe in peace and work to achieve it.

Around 200 bereaved Israeli and Palestinian families attended the concert, among them renowned novelist David Grossman. Many other celebrities and movers and shakers of Israeli society were there as well.

Cohen had announced about two months ago that the proceeds from his performance in Israel would go toward the reconciliation fund, after his plan to perform in Israel sparked opposition.

A pro-Palestinian group had called "Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel" urged the singer to cancel the show and launched a protest campaign. And some Palestinian activists called for a boycott because of Israel's invasion of Gaza, which was aimed at stopping daily rocket attacks.

Cohen, who is Jewish but was ordained as a Buddhist monk, responded by offering to perform in the West Bank city of Ramallah. However, that offer was rejected by the Palestinian protesters. He then said all proceeds would go to Israeli-Palestinian peace organizations.

Initially, Cohen asked Amnesty International to help him distribute the funds, which he hoped would help smaller groups that work for coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians. But Amnesty backed out of that arrangement, so Cohen started his own charity to distribute money to community groups. The charity is run by a board of Israelis and Palestinians.

During the concert, organizers screened some of Kobi Meidan's translations of Cohen's songs. But it seemed as if almost everyone knew the English lyrics by heart.

Cohen last performed in Israel in 1975. Before that, he entertained Israeli troops during the Yom Kippur War in 1973.
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Re: Leonard Cohen lands in Israel

Post by andrea » Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:54 pm

Have a look in this article, a funny situation if it is true ;-)
I found it in Corriere della Sera in internet just now.
The translation is google translator - no guarantee for it - but it surely helps to understand the italian text. Maybe somone can find a better translation.

http://www.corriere.it/spettacoli/09_se ... print.html

l jew Canadian singer on stage in Israel after 24 years
Leonard Cohen go ahead with the impersonator

Arrive at the airport in Tel Aviv, sees a passenger who resembles him and convinces him to impersonate him. Leaves undisturbed

our correspondent Francesco Battistini

The red circle Leonard Cohen, with his double hat
The red circle Leonard Cohen, with his double hat
JERUSALEM - The double concerto no one has to do? So beccatevi my double. Deceit by (cannot) author. So like the fact that there have fooled everyone. The historic tour of Leonard Cohen, Canadian singer / songwriter jew Thursday night is back on stage in Israel after 24 years of absence, for months, was preceded by controversy over his choice of whether to perform in Tel Aviv in the Palestinian Territories . The protests, accusations, threats of a boycott led him to change his plans. But not to take off some whim - or perhaps to carve out extra precautions - for example by landing and sending out a double.

Sudden - It all happened very quickly, says the organizer of the tour, Shmuel Tsemaj: Before you pass police checks at the airport, Cohen has noticed a gentleman than a little grizzled 'like him. The came close, presented himself and gave black fedora and dark jacket, asking if he could "give him five minutes of fame." Request received: When you have opened the doors of Ben Gurion, photographers and television did not hesitate to classify the gentleman who came escorted by bodyguard pretending to cough, covering a little 'face. Without realizing that Leonard Cohen, the original, it was a few yards beyond the mild gentleman, mixed among the rest. That solitary and undisturbed boarded a taxi and went to the hotel.

STAR Benediction - They welcomed by big star, the poet who sings. Thirty rooms of a hotel in Tel Aviv reserved for his entourage. For him, the suite that in recent weeks has stayed Madonna and Quentin Tarantino. They've also reserved a private helicopter: they will take advantage, before the silence of Yom Kippur, to go on the Dead Sea. Tickets for the only time cost more than $ 200: burned in a few days at the stadium in Ramat Gan went to hear him in 50 thousand. Girls and pensioners, large banners extolling the peace, Halleluja sung in chorus by the curves of the grandstand. Three hours and a quarter of a concert, even closed by a "blessing" to the crowd, almost a privilege for those who have arisen in the name of the priestly Cohen.

WITH NGOs PACIFIC - In great shape, despite the illness last week in Spain, the old Leonard wanted to meet at a cocktail party also NGOs who are fighting for the Arab-Israeli dialogue. There was the writer David Grossman with his association, Mishpahot Shkulot Irgun, the Forum of families in mourning, which will represent the collection of the tour. And there was also an Arab in Ramallah, the brother of a victim of check-point, came on purpose to publicly criticize the "Campaign for the Palestinian cultural boycott of Israel", the radical group that has blown up the night in the Territories, accusing Cohen equate the 'support for Zionism and solidarity with the occupied. " Were many pressures, not least because he also canceled the date Israel: "I understand the anger of those who boycotted," the man said, "but a boycott is always a stupid thing. First, we must talk. " Leonard has applauded and embraced.

September 25, 2009
1976 june Zürich (both evenings)
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