(JTA) – Launching her world tour in Israel, Madonna appealed for Middle East and world peace.
"You can’t be a fan of mine and not want peace in the world," she told 30,000 fans packed into Ramat Gan station.
She said she chose Israel to launch her tour in order to spread her message of peace.
"No matter how many laws we change, no matter how many percentages of land we give back, no matter how many talks, no matter how many wars, if we don’t treat every human being with dignity and respect we will never have peace," she said, wearing a form-fitting leather dress, a black beret and a fur-like collar. "So start today, start now each and every one of you, OK? You are the future, we are the future, and if there is peace here in the Middle East then there can be peace in the whole world."
Madonna donated 600 tickets to her concert in Israel to Israeli and Palestinian peace activists, and she recognized them in her remarks.
"There are several very brave and important NGOs that are representing both Palestine and Israel together," she said. She had met with some of the activists on Wednesday.
Madonna, 54, twice has performed sold-out shows in Israel, including the last performance of her "Sticky and Sweet" tour in 2009. She also has visited Israel with her children as part of her devotion to the study of kabbalah; they are with her now.
She changed costume several times through the show. Her playlist included classics "Like a Virgin" and "Like a Prayer" as well as "Give Me All Your Luvin" from her latest album, MDNA.