Pop Star Recants Call for Emigration

The popular Israeli singer Aviv Geffen has retracted some of the comments he made during an interview, including his call for the nation’s youth to leave the country.

In an interview with the youth magazine Ma’ariv LaNoar, the singer had called on young people to leave the Jewish state, triggering a storm of protest.

But at an awards ceremony Tuesday night, Geffen said he made the plea in the heat of the moment and that it should not be interpreted literally. He added that he had no intention of leaving Israel.

Geffen said he would not retract the statements that he made about his fear that the prospects for peace were fading, however.

“If my interview serves to bring peace one day closer, it was worthwhile,” he said.

Soon after the interview was originally published, politicians from across the spectrum publicly dissociated themselves from Geffen’s remarks.

Israeli President Ezer Weizman urged that the singer be boycotted.

Geffen received national attention when he sang at the Nov. 4 peace rally at which Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated.

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