Though he didn’t attend Lady Gaga’s concert in Tel Aviv earlier this week, The Times of Israel’s founding editor, David Horovitz, focused in an op-ed today on her enthusiastic salute to her Israeli fans:
“Put your hands up and cheer for yourselves,” Kamin quoted the good Lady telling the crowd at the end of her performance. “You are strong, you are brave, you are confident, and I f****** love you, Israel.” …
Maybe she says the same kind of thing everywhere she goes. But you know what? That was a great thing to say to Israel, to Israelis, at the end of this awful summer. I don’t remember anybody else saying anything remotely like it.
Horovitz compared Lady Gaga’s unabashed enthusiasm for Israel to the somewhat muted support expressed by Israel’s “ostensible international partners.” Horovitz questioned how the West now asserts that any action it takes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is “moral, laudable and essential,” but “Israel’s attempts to protect its civilians from an Islamist terror state right next door … garnered the most grudging endorsement of its ‘right to defend itself.’”
Toward the end of his essay, Horovitz also noted that Lady Gaga, unlike many artists, never had second thoughts about playing Israel.
I’ve no idea how much of this is known to, or even interests, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta — aka Lady Gaga. I do know that this summer, when all other artists about her were canceling their Israel visits, or having them canceled by our rocket-battered homefront authorities, the good Lady kept her head… and kept her Tel Aviv date optimistically in her calendar. So that when the rocket fire did subside less than three weeks before showtime, and we were finally able to emerge from our bomb shelters, she could fly in, perform, and tell us she loved us. (Kudos, as well, to Tony Bennett, a special guest at the Gaga show, and the star of his own sold-out Mann Auditorium concert on Sunday night.)
That took strength, bravery, confidence and more clear-headed morality than any international statesman managed to muster this terrible summer, when world attitudes to Israel ranged from half-hearted support to vicious, unjustified criticism.
Horovitz’ praise for Lady Gaga echoed Benjamin Weinthal’s praise of John Lydon’s (Johnny Rotten) defense of Israel in 2010, noting that the punk rocker “has breathed real democratic life and fire into a dull and misguided cultural war against Israel.”
Howard Wohl noted in Why Liberals Must Repudiate the BDS Movement, which was published in the March 2014 issue of The Tower Magazine, that anti-Israel extremists often win the public debate because decent people remain quiet:
Today, those in media and academia who might be able to stop extremists from dominating discussion of Israel appear to be doing the opposite. The extremists set the tone and the more moderate forces give in without a fight. They look the other way when extremists call for boycotts against Israel, foster hate speech, and engage in deceptive and unethical practices. In the name of free speech, they have undermined free speech by ignoring, censoring, or white-washing uncomfortable and inconvenient truths.
[Photo: Gaga Daily / YouTube ]