Menu JTA Search

Disco group skips song in Ramallah by request

(JTA) — A popular 1970s disco band acquiesced to a request not to perform a song in the West Bank that refers to Jews’ yearning to return to Zion.

Organizers asked the European band Boney M not to perform the song Tuesday in Ramallah during the six-day Palestinian International Festival because the chorus includes the phrase from the Book of Psalms, "Yeah, we wept, when we remembered Zion." The organizers said the song would be “inappropriate.”

The festival, which began Monday, is designed to draw attention to water shortages in the region.

"I don’t know if it is a political thing or what, but they asked us not to do it and we were a bit disappointed that we could not do it because we know that everybody loves this song no matter what," lead singer Maizie Williams told AFP, the French news agency. 

Israelis and Arabs discoed together at the festival. Many Israelis defied an official ban and traveled to the West Bank for Tuesday night’s concert. Other concerts were to be held throughout the week in Ramallah, Hebron, Jenin, Bethlehem and Haifa. 

International musicians are performing at the festival, which comes amid a Palestinian campaign to have international artists boycott Israel.

NEXT STORY