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Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:54 pm
by sirius
Despite Poisoning and Boycott, Leonard Cohen Performs in Israel

September 24, 2009 1:23 p.m. EST

The Media Line Staff

http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles ... n%20Israel

Leonard Cohen performed Thursday night in Israel for the first time in over two decades despite an intense pro-Palestinian campaign to stop the performance.

The Canadian singer songwriter's path to Israel has been rocky.

First pro-Palestinian groups promoting an international boycott of Israel publicly called on Cohen to cancel his plans to perform in Israel.

Cohen, a Jew who sees himself as supportive of Israeli and Palestinian coexistence, responded by offering to perform in Ramallah. But when Palestinian groups protested, the Ramallah venue caved in and cancelled the gig.

Amnesty International then agreed to help Cohen distribute the concert's expected $1.5 - $2 million profits to various Palestinian and Israeli civil society organizations. But when it was revealed that Cohen's concert had been sponsored by Israel's Discount Bank, which many Palestinians see as a symbol of Jewish settlement in Palestinian territories, a campaign was launched against Amnesty International and the group withdrew its support of the Cohen concert.

Then earlier this week the 75-year-old artist fainted on stage in Valencia, Spain after suffering a bought of food poisoning. Cohen is incredibly popular in Israel and performed in the country's largest stadium.

"On the one extreme you have musicians who are basically poets like Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, on the other extreme you have musicians like Madonna who provide sheer entertainment," Nissim Calderon, an Israeli cultural critic and professor at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, told The Media Line. "In both extremes you will have large audiences in Israel."

Billing the performance as "A Concert for Reconciliation, Tolerance and Peace", Cohen has now set up a new charity run by a board of Palestinians and Israelis to distribute the concert's profits to coexistence groups.

But that has not stopped what has become arguably the most substantial campaign in support of a cultural boycott of an Israeli event to date.

"This concert was put together with a lot of manipulation," said Issam Aruri, a member of the steering committees of both the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions National Committee and the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations' Network, which led the campaign against Amnesty Internationals role in the Cohen gig.

"As long as Israel continues to occupy Palestinian territory, creating an apartheid situation for Palestinians in the West Bank, we are against any concert by any international artist coming to Israel," he told The Media Line.

Even organizations generally opposed to boycotts of Israel joined the call for Cohen to cancel the performance.

"We respect Leonard Cohen, we support peace between Palestinians and Israelis and we would have loved to have seen him perform in Ramallah," said Raed Hadar, the Palestinian coordinator Combatants for Peace, a joint Palestinian Israeli group which refused to accept funds from the Cohen concert.

"Initially he was going to perform in Ramallah, some of the proceeds were going to Palestinian prisoner organizations and we decided to participate in his project," Hadar told The Media Line. "But in the end we realized that the concert was being sponsored by Discount Bank, which is directly involved in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Of course we can't participate in something like that so for us this was the main reason we decided to pull out."

Roni Segoly, the Israeli coordinator of Combatants for Peace, said Israelis in the group decided to support the Palestinians' call to boycott the event.

"We are against any boycott against Israel or Palestine, but we do not support the settlement project," he told The Media Line. "Since all Palestinian organizations decided to object to his performance in Israel, we decided to stand by them."

"What Mr. Cohen did was out of his good will," Segoly said. "But it wasn't planned well and became a big political mess. If indeed he wants to promote peace, then he should do it in a way that allows us to support him. Discount Bank, a sponsor of his performance, is the symbol of the settlement project for Palestinians."

Critics of the Cohen boycott point out that Madonna, Lady Gaga and the Pet Shop Boys, all of whom recently put on for-profit concerts in Israel, faced almost no opposition to their performances, despite Madonna wrapping herself in an Israeli flag at the conclusion of her concert earlier this month.

"Leonard Cohen was an easy target and fell right into the trap," Dr Gerald Steinberg, chairman of NGO Monitor and head of the Political Science Department at Bar Ilan University told The Media Line. "These organizations, like other political organizations, pick their targets based on which will get their cause the best publicity. Leonard Cohen opened the door by having the pretence of trying to link a music concert with grand political gestures. When he brought in the organizations he brought in the boycott movement."

"Madonna," he added, "never had the pretence of being political."

Issam Aruri argued that pro-Palestinian activists held Cohen to a higher standard than artists like Madonna.

"What was different with Cohen," Aruri said, "was that he introduced himself as someone who supports peace and equality for the Palestinians so we expected Cohen to be more aware than Madonna or anyone else uninvolved in politics."

Dr Ze'ev Maghen, a senior fellow at the Shalem Center and senior researcher at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, said Palestinian boycott movements had evolved over the years.

"It certainly sounds a bit ridiculous to boycott the guy for a mistake like that but they've been waking up to this kind of tactic over the last 10 years or so because the more you turn Israel into a pariah the more you throw Israel into a corner and delegitimize it," he told The Media Line.

"As an individual I don't have a problem with using boycotts to make a point and achieve a specific goal as long as the means or the goal are not violent in nature," Dr Maghen stressed. "I was raised on the lure of the bus boycott in Alabama, boycotts against the war in Vietnam and all kinds of things I was raised to believe were good causes."

"But this is just another instance of Palestinians going the whole nine yards and completely freeing themselves of any connection to the State of Israel," he said. "Cultural boycotts certainly don't do much for mutual understanding and make it impossible for people in the Muslim world to listen to Jewish counterpoints because they are cut off."

Officials at Israel's Ministry of Culture and Sport were unavailable for comment.



Read more: http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles ... z0S88AIy9h

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:11 pm
by adamintelaviv
Cohen ended the concert with the priestly blessing in (excellent) Hebrew. Being a descendant of the holy men of Israel (literally, that is what his name, Cohen, means) he has the power and the right to do this.

This blessing is one of the most beautiful ancient poems you will ever know.

I felt most blessed.

יְבָרֶכְךָ יהוה וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ:
יָאֵר יהוה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וִיחֻנֶּךָּ:
יִשָּׂא יהוה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם:

Here is my outrageously personal translation:

May the most holy bless you and protect you
May the most holy take a shine to you and grace you
May the most holy take a good look at you give you peace

Here is something more precise:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Priestly_Blessing

I am wondering if this is something he has done before. I had the feeling it was a very special moment indeed.

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:13 pm
by sirius
Cohen Counters Israeli Concert Protest With Songs, Donations

Concert Review by Calev Ben-David

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid= ... ovJa_bD6G0

Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Like a bird on a wire, the title of one of his best-known songs, singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen had to perform a balancing act after pro-Palestinian activists protested his decision to hold a concert in Israel on Thursday night.

The 75-year-old Canadian-Jewish troubadour’s answer was to donate proceeds from the concert to local groups working for peace and coexistence, including the Parents Circle, whose membership is comprised of Israelis and Palestinians who have lost family members to the violence of the Middle East conflict.

The concert, which attracted an audience of some 47,000 to Ramat Gan stadium just outside Tel Aviv, is expected to have raised about $2 million after expenses for those groups, according to Cohen’s manager Robert Kory, speaking at a reception just before the performance.

Cohen addressed the controversy from the stage, saying the concert and the groups it will support represented a “triumph over the inclination of the heart to despair, revenge and hatred.”

His gesture hasn’t mollified activists who urged him to boycott Israel over its policies toward the Palestinians. A plan to hold a second concert in the West Bank city of Ramallah was canceled in the face of their protests, Kory said.

Channeling Anger

Palestinians from the Parents Circle who attended the concert defended Cohen’s decision to perform in Israel.

“There are people who haven’t had a voice for a long time and have no place to put their anger, and the boycott is part of that,” said Ali Abu Awad at the reception, adding that his brother died in a clash with Israeli troops.

“I was in Israeli prisons for four years, and lost my brother, and am proud to have Leonard Cohen supporting us.”

Israeli novelist David Grossman, whose son was killed fighting in the Second Lebanon War in 2006 and who supports a complete Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, said at the reception that Cohen’s music shows he understands the suffering on both sides.

Other performers, including Madonna, who performed in Tel Aviv earlier this month, have faced similar protests from pro- Palestinian activists, who have also sought to get Israeli movies boycotted at film festivals in Edinburgh and Toronto.

The controversy didn’t appear to distract Cohen during the concert, as he growled his way through an impassioned three-hour performance that ranged across his songbook of classics including “Suzanne,” “So Long, Marianne” and “Hallelujah.” He seemed to answer recent concerns about his health -- he collapsed during a Barcelona concert this month -- by dancing off stage in Ramat Gan at the finish of each of several encores.

Cohen’s music has been popular in Israel since he first appeared there during the 1973 Yom Kippur War to perform for troops. He ended the concert by blessing the crowd with the traditional prayer known as the “Birkat Ha’Cohenim,” or the priestly benediction, closing with this line:

“May God lift his face upon you and give you peace.”

To contact the reporter on the story: Calev Ben-David in Jerusalem at cbendavid@bloomberg.net.

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:17 pm
by oskie98
adamintelaviv wrote regarding birkat kohanim:
I am wondering if this is something he has done before. I had the feeling it was a very special moment indeed.
Lucky you all there last night ...
:)

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:32 pm
by tigrib
another report, found in London, U.K.
http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Showbi ... s_Together

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, Israel, Ramat Gan Stadium 9/24/09

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:51 pm
by olgkap
Perfect concert, great night.:)
Image

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:08 pm
by Midnight Choir
The thing I am unsure of is the percentage of each anti-zionist that is anti-semite and the percentage that is gullible moron. Either way, an inverse birkat kohanim on every single one of you.

I'll leave the soppy stuff to Leonard.

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:12 pm
by Happygirl
Not sure if this has been put up already...the video at the very bottom is his intro to Anthem where he talks about the Parents Circle http://tv-online-il.blogspot.com/2009/0 ... st_17.html

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:14 pm
by sturgess66
tigrib wrote:another report, found in London, U.K.
http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Showbi ... s_Together
Thanks tigrib! I'm going to show the article here. It is short and - um- there are a couple of paragraphs that I like (bolded). :lol: And also, there are some nice pictures!

Hallelujah: Cohen Plays 'Historic' Israel Gig

12:15am UK, Friday September 25, 2009

Yael Lavie, at Tel Aviv's Ramat Gan stadium


Legendary crooner Leonard Cohen has played a "historic" gig in Israel just a week after collapsing on stage in Spain.
LCSky2.jpg
Crooner Leonard Cohen

Cohen had offered to play a concert in the West Bank

The concert, at Tel Aviv's Ramat Gan stadium, had drawn controversy and criticism but still attracted a crowd of 50,000 for a three-hours performance.

Prior to his arrival several groups in Europe had called for the cancellation of the concert in protest at Israel's war with Gaza last January.

Cohen offered to deliver a performance in Ramallah in the West Bank as well, but those plans never came about.

However, once word of the 75-year-old's concert in Tel Aviv was confirmed 50,000 tickets were sold in the record time of 24 hours.

Following the controversy surrounding the gig Cohen established The Fund For Reconciliation, Tolerance And Peace to distribute proceeds from the concert.

The fund was formed to support both Israelis and Palestinians who paid a personal price, losing family members in the ongoing conflict, yet who continue to work together for peace.

On stage a very emotional Cohen talked about those who manage to cross lines in spite of loss and reach out to the other side as the only hope for progress.

The crowd comprised both Israelis and Palestinians, who gave him a standing ovation after a five-minute rendition of Hallelujah in which the audience sang along with every word.


The much-covered classic hit the number one spot in the UK after being released by X Factor winner Alexandra Burke late last year.

Cohen's gig in Tel Aviv was his first in Israel since 1975. The Canadian singer, poet and sometime Buddhist monk also volunteered to sing for Israeli troops in 1973 during the Yom Kippur War.

Returning after 34 years, frail yet determined, the press hailed his deliverance, stamina and determination to carry out the concert in Israel following his collapse in Spain as "historic".
LCSky1.jpg
Canadian singer and song writer Leonard Cohen sings during a rehearsal for his concert at the Ramat Gan stadium, near Tel Aviv September 23, 2009. The concert will take place on Thursday. REUTERS
LCSky.jpg
This file picture dated July 22, 2008 shows Canadian singer Leonard Cohen performing during the Nice Jazz Festival, in Nice, southern France. Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, who turns 75 on September 21, 2009, was released from a hospital in Spain on September 19, 2009, hours after collapsing on stage during a concert, hospital sources said. Organisers of his concert in the eastern city of Valencia said he had fainted on stage after being stricken with food poisoning. AFP/Getty Images

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:21 pm
by sturgess66
Happygirl wrote:Not sure if this has been put up already...the video at the very bottom is his intro to Anthem where he talks about the Parents Circle http://tv-online-il.blogspot.com/2009/0 ... st_17.html
Thanks Happygirl!!!! This is the actual YouTube link to that video. Beautiful words by Leonard!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLGWXsAp7GA

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:32 pm
by sirius
Midnight Choir wrote:The thing I am unsure of is the percentage of each anti-zionist that is anti-semite and the percentage that is gullible moron. Either way, an inverse birkat kohanim on every single one of you.

I'll leave the soppy stuff to Leonard.
May Our Enemies be Filled with Joy

It is hard to remember the true meaning of the enemy, as one who makes our life
precious to us. The opportunity to really pray for our enemies, not that they
may reform or be in some way changed, but simply and truly that they may be
happy and enjoy their lives, is one of the most valuable gifts our enemy can
give us, because this prayer offers a rich field for self discovery. Recall
Matthew 5,44: But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you,
do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you,
and persecute you.

And remember
our humanity is defined
by how we treat our enemies
not by how we treat our friends.

AMEN

Sirius Wisdom


Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:41 pm
by Midnight Choir
sounds like a sweet deal to me

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:55 pm
by Happygirl
You're welcome sturgess66, twitter is a neverending source of up to date information...

Does anybody have a clip of what Leonard said regarding suffering?
From Twitter: @DinoSoldo: Leonard Cohen's TelAviv ws magical. Green candles!The Most moving words on suffering I've heard, EVER. Way to go,

Here is the most recent tweet by him, I hope they serve good Guinness there given that yesterday was 'Arthur's Day' (To Martha!!) @DinoSoldo: Haiku Twitter : Autumn in Tel Aviv- in Irish bar, good cigar- My heart is farther.

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:00 pm
by sturgess66
sturgess66 wrote:
Happygirl wrote:Not sure if this has been put up already...the video at the very bottom is his intro to Anthem where he talks about the Parents Circle http://tv-online-il.blogspot.com/2009/0 ... st_17.html
Thanks Happygirl!!!! This is the actual YouTube link to that video. Beautiful words by Leonard!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLGWXsAp7GA
I have attempted to transcribe Leonard's beautiful words. I think this may have been what Dino referred to:
Leonard Cohen - Parents for Peace

Thank you so much friends for your wonderful hospitality to me. It was a while ago that I first heard of the work of the bereaved parents for peace, that there was this coalition of Palestinian and Israeli families who had lost so much in the conflict and whose desperate suffering had compelled them to reach across the border into the houses of the enemy and to the houses of those to locate them who had suffered as much as they had, and then to stand with them in aching confraternity, a witness to an understanding that is beyond peace and that is beyond confrontation.

So, this is not about forgiving and forgetting, This is not about letting down ones arms at the time of war. This is not even about peace although, God willing, it could be a beginning.

This is about a response to human grief, a radical, unique, and holy, holy, holy response to human suffering. Baruch Hashem.

And I bow my head in respect to the nobility of this enterprise.

So –

Ring the bells that still can ring,
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLGWXsAp7GA
Thanks to "Nurit" -
...words ... Baruch Hashem. Their literary meaning is 'blessed is the name' (of the Lord), but it's a term used in the sense of 'thank god'.

Re: CONCERT REPORT: Tel Aviv, September 24

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:00 pm
by Nurit
sturgess66 wrote:
I have attempted to transcribe Leonard's beautiful words - there are a couple of blanks - I think he uses a Hebrew phrase and perhaps someone can fill in the blanks. I think this may have been what Dino referred to:
The missing words are Baruch Hashem. Their literal meaning is 'blessed is the name' (of the Lord), but it's a term used in the sense of 'thank god'.