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Moroccan singer receives death threats over song with Israeli artist

Sanaa Mohamed goes underground and cancels interview with Israeli network amid backlash

Sanaa Mohamed in a music video with an Israeli artist (Screen grab/YouTube)
Sanaa Mohamed in a music video with an Israeli artist (Screen grab/YouTube)

A Moroccan singer has been bombarded with death threats over her musical collaboration with Israeli artist Elkana Marziano, Channel 12 reported on Monday.

Sanaa Mohamed has “gone underground” and canceled an interview with the Israeli network amid the backlash, the report said, adding that she’s fine.

Marziano told the station: “We talk a lot. I speak the language a little… It was a natural alliance. She’s in Morocco and I’m Moroccan. So doing this collaboration is exciting and the greatest gift I could get.”

The Israeli artist added that he would like to perform for the Moroccan king.

Morocco agreed in 2020 to normalize ties with Israel under a US-brokered deal, joining the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. In return, then-US president Donald Trump fulfilled a decades-old goal of Morocco by backing its contested sovereignty in Western Sahara, what Rabat refers to as its “southern provinces.”

In December, a Tunisian musician who collaborated with an Israeli singer on a song promoting religious tolerance between Muslims and Jews faced serious backlash, including reportedly being fired from his job at a state broadcaster and death threats on social media.

The song “Peace Between Neighbors” was performed by Israeli Ziv Yehezkel, a religious Mizrahi Jew who sings primarily in Arabic, and Tunisian music producer and composer Noamane Chaari. The collaboration was arranged by the Arab Council for Regional Integration, which attempts to advance Arab-Israeli dialogue in the region.

The song was penned by a Yemenite artist who wishes to remain anonymous for his own safety, as he lives in territory controlled by the pro-Iranian Houthi militias.

In a TV appearance following the song’s release, Chaari denied that the song called for peace between Israel and the Arab world. Rather, it sought to promote peace “between Muslims and Jews,” the singer told Tunisian Channel 9’s “Late Show.”

Fellow guests, however, accused him of aiding “the usurping Zionist entity.”

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