Well, it sounded like a good idea.

Hold a concert and sing for peace,

Bryan Adams has announced he will headline two peace concerts Oct. 18, calling for an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as part of the New York-based OneVoice Movement….

The Canadian rocker will begin his epic day in a soccer stadium in the ancient West Bank town of Jericho in the Palestinian Authority, then cap the day with a set at Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv, Israel. The simultaneous festivals, which will also include Israeli and Palestinian artists on the bill, will be beamed by satellite to audiences in Washington, D.C., Boston, London, Ottawa and other cities in the U.S. and Europe that will be holding their own “echo events.”

Actually, I am happy when entertainers actually put their money (or their skills) where their mouth is, whether it be Frances Langford singing to those on the front lines or Rockers who sang to raise money and awareness about African famines, global warming, and various other concerns.

And Canadian Adams has done a lot of these concerts, even though he is not “over the hill” like many of those who go in for charity work.
But the latest news is that the concert has been called off.

Organiser Daniel Lubetzky decided to call off the Jericho event last week.

He said: “Extremist ideologists have threatened our participants in Jericho, and we felt it is our responsibility not to play with their lives.”

He did not give any details of the nature of the threats.

The Tel Aviv concert was later cancelled in solidarity.

Oh well..

The UK Guardian has the real story:

‘The reason for the cancellation,’ said Haithem El-Zabri of Another Voice, ‘was the withdrawal of five of their eight performers due to grassroots pressure against supporting an initiative that undermines Palestinian rights.’

One Voice founder Daniel Lubetzky denied any mass boycott, saying the cancellation was due to threats made against the celebrities. ‘The threats were not necessarily going to be carried out but you have to provide the necessary security and we couldn’t identify the mechanisms to enable us to do that.’

Sigh.

For those interested, the One Voice Organization has a blog link HERE….

Over the past six years, OneVoice has gathered the support of over half a million Israelis and Palestinians. The organization remains committed to achieving their goal of uniting all moderates in the region and empowering the process from the grassroots….

A campaign of lies against OneVoice was launch by radical groups, including PFLP, who oppose the goal of Israel and Palestine living side by side. This then evolved into an intimidation campaign against those due to take part in the OneVoice Summit.

Nisreen Shaheen, of OneVoice Palestine, confirmed, “These lies are completely unfounded and the Palestinian people are being deceived by fringe movements whose existence is premised on the conflict. OneVoice is standing behind the President’s platform.”

The threats against those seeking peace, in my opinion, show three things that are often overlooked in the loud debates on the Middle East:

One, that dangerous extremists will threaten even the smallest attempt to encourage solidarity and peace.
Two: That there are many who are doing their best to promote grassroots cooperation and peace in Palestine.

Three: it is the moderate Muslim voices in the Middle East who are bravely willing to risk their lives for standing up to try to make peace who face the most danger in these efforts..

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Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.

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