JERUSALEM (JTA) – A Facebook group is calling for a boycott of the popular Israeli singer Noa.
More than 3,500 members have signed on to the group, which launched following her performance last week at an alternative Memorial Day event for bereaved Jewish and Palestinian families. Many of the members have called the singer insulting names playing off her name.
Noa, whose name is Achinoam Nini, says she is shocked by the negative reaction to her performance.
"I am just shocked by this stupid and ugly distortion," Nini posted on her Facebook page. "I sang at an alternative ceremony, at which Jews and Arabs remember and cry together for their loved ones who were lost in the ongoing war between us."
Nini called the ceremony "moving," and marked by "unity, understanding, empathy, and especially peace."
Combatants for Peace, a joint Israeli-Palestinian group that originally was comprised of former Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants, organized the alternative ceremony.
In a blog post following the start of the campaign against her, Nini wrote that "Israel is now going thorough one of the darkest periods of her short history. The amount of brainwashed people walking the streets here, the amount of RACISM and blind hatred, is simply mindboggling (and this goes for both the Jewish and the Arab population within Israel). I am but one of a long list of people and organizations with views similar to mine who have been bashed, banned, ostracized, ridiculed and marginalized, virtually OUTLAWED, since the present right-wing government has been in office."
The singer called on Jews and Israelis to neither blindly criticize nor support everything that Israel does and to support organizations calling for peace. Her list of such organizations includes J Street, One Voice and the Abraham Fund.