U.S. Musicians Bring a Gift to Israel

(Jerusalem Post) - In response to reports that musicians were cancelling appearances in Israel, acoustic guitarist and Artistic Ambassador for the U.S. State Department Steve Hancoff organized the "Gift to Israel" solidarity tour, along with klezmer-bluegrass clarinet and mandolin master Andy Statman and rock guitarist Peter Himmelman, the son-in-law of Bob Dylan. Opening with a special performance in Jerusalem attended by emergency service workers from throughout the country, the 18-show tour was made possible by the United Jewish Communities, the Trust for Jewish Philanthropy, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. Hancoff says he has never before met with the negative reaction he received in response to the "Gift to Israel" tour. "I played in Saudi Arabia recently and nobody condemned me for going, despite the oppression of women there. I played in Sri Lanka during the civil war and no one said a word," he said. "Yet, I've been vilified for this show in Israel. There is something poisonous and abhorrent about how the world views Israelis...or perhaps more accurately, Jews."

2002-10-11 00:00:00

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