JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel denied a claim by Elton John’s local concert organizer that the British rocker was asked to sign a pledge of loyalty to get a visa.
The ministry threatened to sue producer Shuki Weiss over the claim he made Monday at a conference about issues surrounding the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.
“Only two weeks ago Elton John was asked to sign a declaration of loyalty. That insane idea has been dropped,” he said, according to Israeli media reports.
The Interior Ministry spokeswoman told Haaretz the claim was “delusional.”
“This is a blatant lie aimed at grabbing headlines at the expense of a government ministry,” Sabin Hadad said. “Never has any artist been asked to sign such a declaration. We are considering a libel suit against Weiss.”
A line on Israel’s standard entry visa application reads in part, “I have not committed any criminal offense or any act directed against the Jewish people or the security of the state of Israel.”
Weiss’ office pointed to the language to back his claim.
Speaking at the conference, sponsored by the Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth, Weis said John refused to sign the form, and was not the first artist to do so. John is slated to perform in Tel Aviv on May 26. He has held three previous concerts in Israel, the most recent in 2010.