Sunday, 13 November 2016
Not many foreign pop stars could be eulogized by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as someone who “loved the people of Israel and the State of Israel.”
But as a Jew and friend of Israel, the Canadian-born singer- songwriter conducted himself, as in most things, in his own singular way. Nowhere was this more evident than in his 2009 concert at National Stadium in Israel
Cohen came under heavy pressure from the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanction) movement to cancel his appearance. Instead, he tried to organize a second concert in Ramallah, with all the proceeds going to Amnesty International.
More BDS pressure succeeded in scuttling the Ramallah show, and even intimidated Amnesty to back away from its willingness to accept Cohen’s philanthropy.
The audience of more than fifty thousand cannot hold back the emotion; the silence that accepts the blessing and the applause that greeted the offering of the musicians is more than a signal of appreciation – it is a union.
Cohen loved Israel and Israel loved Cohen.