Cancellation of Israeli Concert Not Tied to Unrest, Officials Say

A report in an Israeli paper this week that a U.S. performance by top Israeli singers was canceled because of growing anti-Israel feeling in the United States was denied by a representative of the Jewish community in Hartford, Conn., where the concert was scheduled June 4.

The newspaper Yediot Aharonot reported Monday that star singers Yardena Arazi and Dudu Fischer have become the victims of Israel’s decreasing popularity in the United States as a result of the disorders in the administered territories.

According to the paper, the two were to appear in a joint concert in Hartford, in celebration of Israel’s 40th anniversary. But the show was canceled for fear that it will become a failure because of the situation in the territories, the paper claimed.

But according to Pinni Koren, director of Israeli affairs at the Jewish Community Center of Hartford, the show was not canceled, but postponed by producer Shmuel Dagan.

The reason for the postponement, Koren said, is that the Hartford Philharmonic Orchestra is scheduled to perform a concert in salute to Israel’s 40th anniversary the following day. Many members of the Jewish community have already purchased tickets for the orchestra concert, making it unlikely that they will attend the Israeli concert the night before, he said.

“The decision to postpone the show has nothing to do with the situation in the territories,” Koren stressed. “It is nonsense.”

Efforts by the JTA to reach Dagan, the producer of the show, were unsuccessful.

Erela Hadar, consul for cultural affairs at the Israeli Consulate in New York, also denied in a telephone interview that the show was canceled because of the situation in the territories.

Arazi is one of Israel’s most popular singers. She will represent Israel at this year’s Eurovision song contest. Fischer is the star of the Israeli version of the musical “Les Miserables.”

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