Prince Charles to attend event for Israel’s 70th at London’s Royal Albert Hall
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Prince Charles to attend event for Israel’s 70th at London’s Royal Albert Hall

Event this week to feature music and dance performances by Israeli artists, with Balkan Beat Box as headliner

President Reuven Rivlin, left, meets with Britain's Prince Charles following the funeral of former Israeli president Shimon Peres, at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, September 30, 2016. (Gali Tibbon, Pool via AP)
President Reuven Rivlin, left, meets with Britain's Prince Charles following the funeral of former Israeli president Shimon Peres, at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, September 30, 2016. (Gali Tibbon, Pool via AP)

Prince Charles will be the guest of honor at Israel’s 70th anniversary celebrations on Thursday at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall for a concert showing off the wide range of influences on Israel music.

The event is being headlined by eclectic collective Balkan Beat Box performing its latest project, which expands on its signature mix of world music, jazz, electronica and hip-hop.

“We are looking forward to premiering our new project, together with other superb performers from Israel,” said Balkan Beat Box drummer Tamir Muscat in a statement.

The May 24 event will also feature Israeli three-sister band A-WA, which mixes traditional Yemenite music with hip-hop and electronic music; Gili Yafo, who merges traditional Ethiopian music with contemporary inspirations with lyrics in Amharic and English; and award-winning contemporary dance group Vertigo Dance Company along with the string orchestra Revolution Orchestra.

A poster promoting a concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall marking Israel’s 70th anniversary. (Courtesy)

Also performing are the Gilad Ephrat Ensemble string quartet; vocalist Shai Tsabari, who fuses traditional oriental music with eclectic modern rock, pop, electronic and world music; and Israeli Russian-born classical soprano Olga Senderskaya.

Charles also attended Israel’s 50th anniversary celebrations and in doing so became the first senior member of the British Royal Family to attend a full Jewish Orthodox synagogue service.

Britain’s Prince Charles, center, wearing a kippa, (skull cap) with Britain’s Chief Rabbi, Dr. Jonathan Sacks, left, and the Israeli Ambassador to Britain, Dror Zeigerman, right, at the United Synagogue in St. John’s Wood, north west London, Wednesdsay, April 29, 1998. (AP Photo/Pool)

However, Charles has also been accused of having a negative view of the Jewish state. Last year, a newly revealed letter he wrote in 1986 implied that the “influx of foreign, European Jews” to Israel was to blame for fueling the Israeli-Arab conflict, and lamented that US presidents were unwilling to take on the American “Jewish lobby.”

The Prince of Wales has visited Israel twice, attending former president Shimon Peres’s funeral ​in 2016 ​and the funeral of slain prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1994, though these were not considered official royal visits.

His elder son, Prince William, will travel to Israel this summer in the first-ever official visit by the British royal family to the Jewish state, his residence declared in March.

Israel celebrated its 70th Independence Day last month, corresponding to the Jewish calendar anniversary of the May 15, 1948, declaration. But festive events in other countries are continuing even after the May 15 mark, which the US celebrated by relocating its embassy from Tel Aviv to the capital Jerusalem.

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