Israel’s ongoing PR effort, always an embattled enterprise, found a new platform in Leonard Cohen. After his September 24 concert in Tel Aviv sold out in a matter of hours, and after his planned show in Ramallah was cancelled by Palestinian officials objecting to his stop in the Jewish state, Israel’s Ministry of Tourism approached the aging singer with an offer he’s likely to refuse: play one more show, in Nazareth, for Jewish and Arab audiences together.
Citing Cohen’s commitment to donate proceeds of his shows to victims of violence in both Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Noaz Bar Nir, the ministry’s director-general, called on Cohen to schedule a second gig in Israel and play Jesus’s hometown. Such a concert, he added, would “attract a large and varied audience from all the sectors of Israeli society, as well as tourists, who, together, can listen to moving music, enjoy the beauty of nature that surrounds the amphitheater and can realize the concert slogan” of peace and reconciliation. To which we say: Hallelujah.