Yannis Kotsiras and Eleni Tsaligopoulou, amongst Greece’s most popular singers, were to join on stage the famous Israeli musician Idan Raichel on November 4th in the Gazarte venue, in central Athens. “A celebration of the Mediterranean soul” was one of a series of cultural events scheduled to take place in order to mark the 25th anniversary since the start of Greece’s and Israel’s diplomatic relations.
Only a few hours before their appearance, the two Greek vocalists announced on their official Facebook pages [Kotsiras] [Tsaligopoulou], that they won’t participate in the scheduled concert in Gazarte. They didn’t specify the reason of this cancellation. Idan Raichel nevertheless performed alone.
What happened? Two days before the concert, the small far-left Trotskyist group “Internationalist Movement Against The War” (Greek: “Antipolemiki Diethnistiki Kinisi”, abbreviated ADK) called upon both Greek artists not to perform with someone who “supports the Israeli torturers”. Furthermore, ADK suggested that the state of Israel aims to use cultural events in order to promote a positive image of the country, while it “persecutes” the Palestinians and the Israeli workers.
Other posts on the same blog refer to “Nazi-Zionists”.
The ADK call has been reposted by the pro-BDS website info-war.gr. The owner of info-war.gr is Greek journalist and filmmaker Aris Chatzistefanou, a participant of the “Gaza Flotilla” who has accused former PM George Papandreou of “slavish submission” towards Israel. Among the coalition organizations participating in the “Gaza Flotilla” was radical Islamic organization IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi, IHH, “humanitarian relief fund”).
Many fans of Yannis Kotsiras and Eleni Tsaligopoulou reacted enthusiastically on Facebook to their messages of cancellation. Others strongly protested their decision accusing especially Y. Kotsiras of hypocrisy (he has already performed in Israel).
- Idan Raichel’s opinion regarding torture (NB: “Captain George” is IDF interrogator Doron Zahavi):