Mike Windle/Getty Images for iHeartMedia
Britney Spears performing at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, December 2, 2016. Mike Windle/Getty Images for iHeartMedia
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Britney Spears to Israel: Jerusalem is Toxic

Ditches Bibi, hates the Kotel, loves shopping—the pop star is the ultimate Tel Avivian

by
Liel Leibovitz
July 03, 2017
Mike Windle/Getty Images for iHeartMedia
Britney Spears performing at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, December 2, 2016. Mike Windle/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

If you’ve ever wondered what Britney Spears’s life would be like if she made aliya—and, as someone whose workout mix is comprised almost exclusively of her music, I have—wonder no more. Arriving in the Holy Land for a highly anticipated concert this evening, Spears made it abundantly clear what kind of Israeli she’d be.

To start with, she’s no fan of Jerusalem. Taken on a tour of the Kotel tunnels, the singer seemed so distressed by the abundance of stones and men in beards that she cut her trip short, skipped the traditional putting-a-note-in-the wall routine, and darted back to her hotel. So strong was her dislike for the eternal capital, in fact, that she cancelled a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his wife, and a host of cancer-stricken children, all of whom were looking forward to a selfie with Spears.

What, then, did Britney do in Israel? She legged it to Tel Aviv, went on a shopping spree in Kikar Ha’Medina, the city’s fanciest commercial district, and then retired to her balcony and smoked cigarettes while looking at the Mediterranean.

To recap then: hates Jerusalem, dislikes Bibi, loves the beach, adores smoking. Which is pretty much the perfect biography of anyone who has ever lived in Tel Aviv. Welcome to Israel, Britney; you’re one of us now.

Liel Leibovitz is editor at large for Tablet Magazine and a host of its weekly culture podcast Unorthodox and daily Talmud podcast Take One.

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