JERUSALEM (May. 8)
Popular singer Chava Alberstein has become the Jane Fonda of Israel.
The right-wing party Tehiya is furious that the dovish vocalist has been chosen to be one of the torch lighters in the traditional ceremony opening Israel Independence Day festivities Tuesday night. Members of the party held a demonstration Sunday on Mount Herzl to protest her participation.
Knesset Speaker Dov Shilansky of Likud said he would include her in the ceremonies, but “with a heavy heart.”
Alberstein’s left-leaning political views first came to light about two years ago. last year, she was criticized for supporting a plan by the Palestine Liberation Organization to sail a boatload of Palestinian deportees from Greece to Israel. The plan was aborted when the ferry chartered by the PLO was damaged by saboteurs in Cyprus.
A Jewish settler from the West Bank told Israel Radio on Sunday that “a woman who tried to express sympathy with enemies and murderers” cannot represent him.
But Alberstein has her supporters. Knesset member Dedi Zucker of the Citizens Rights Movement called her “a major cultural symbol and institution” in Israeli society who is “trying to express her Zionism in the humanistic way supported by a large portion of this society.”