Geffen: 'No one will silence Israel, ever!'

Tens of thousands attend Tel Aviv outdoor rock concert despite threat of rockets

With Gaza barrages ongoing and first Israeli fatality just hours before, crowds stream to Aviv Geffen show; video shows Iron Dome intercept rockets in the distance

Singer Aviv Geffen performs live at Park Hayarkon in Tel Aviv on May 11, 2023. (Koko/Flash90)
Singer Aviv Geffen performs live at Park Hayarkon in Tel Aviv on May 11, 2023. (Koko/Flash90)

Despite looming threats of rocket fire from Gaza, an estimated 40,000 people attended a concert of Israeli rock star Aviv Geffen in Tel Aviv on Thursday evening.

The Israel Defense Forces’ Home Front Command green-lit the concert at HaYarkon Park to go ahead as planned, but ticket holders received precautionary text messages instructing them on behavior should rocket sirens sound. Participants were warned not to run (as this would be dangerous in a large crowd) but to drop to the ground and protect their heads with their hands for a period of 10 minutes.

Amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group, a sense of apprehension gripped many ticket holders. Geffen, in an Instagram post, told those who decided no to attend to contact the ticketing company on Sunday to ask for a refund.

The singer celebrated his 50th birthday on Wednesday, and the performance was scheduled to coincide with the event. It was his first performance ever at HaYarkon Park.

“Never has so much effort been put into a show of mine,” he said before the concert.

Some commentators criticized the singer and authorities for moving forward with the concert despite the danger.

Addressing the audience, Geffen said: “I’m here today with you, holding the performance, because this is a very important message… that we’ve chosen life.”

“No one will silence Israel, ever!” he added to cheers.

Video taken by someone in the audience showed Iron Dome interceptors exploding in the sky in the distance, taking down rockets fired toward the country’s central Gush Dan region, though it was not possible to assess how close they were to Tel Aviv.

Geffen lost his father, renowned writer and lyricist Yehonatan Geffen, last month.

Earlier Thursday, a rocket fell in Rehovot, claiming the life of one Israeli citizen and injuring five others.

Prior to that, an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip killed a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad member, Ahmad Abu Deka, dealing another blow to the group in the latest round of hostilities and further dampening hopes for a ceasefire.

Operation Shield and Arrow, the current military engagement between Israel and Gaza, commenced early Tuesday following the assassination of three top Islamic Jihad commanders in response to earlier rocket fire from Gaza.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure:
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.