Jordanian singer calls off Jaffa gig

What a shame that peacemakers are considered traitors these days, tweets Bassel Khoury, bowing out of coexistence concert

Yifa Yaakov is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Jordanian singer Bassel Khoury canceled his appearance at a Monday co-existence concert in Israel due to threats received by pro-Palestinian groups in his home country.

On Saturday, Khoury had hinted that he was under pressure to cancel his performance, writing on his Twitter page that it was a shame that in these days, “peacemakers are considered traitors, and war criminals are considered heroes.”

The young Jordanian singer was to perform alongside Israeli artists at a  concert at the Jaffa port, “Ma’an/Together,” dedicated to coexistence — or, as organizing radio station 88 FM put it, “Arab-Jewish musical fraternity and love.”

Performers such as Arab Israeli singer Miriam Toukan, the ‘Shirana’ Arab-Jewish choir, Arab-Jewish youth choir ‘Voices of Peace’ and the multicultural Naghm ensemble were singing songs in both Hebrew and Arabic, as well as songs traditionally sung on the night of the Mimouna, a traditional Moroccan Jewish celebration at the end of the holiday of Passover.

The free concert proceeded as planned despite Khoury’s cancellation, on Monday night at 9 pm.

“What a shame, that’s all I can say,” Khoury tweeted.

The 25-year-old Khoury, who hails from Amman, premiered on the 7th season of Star Academy, a popular pan-Arab talent show produced in Lebanon. Though he was evicted in the 8th episode of the show, he remained popular with audiences across the Arab world.

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