US Denies Visa for Israeli Singer to Perform at UN for Holocaust Remembrance Day (VIDEO)

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Amir Benayoun Credit: עמיר בניון
The United States embassy in Israel has declined a visa request by Israeli singer Amir Benayoun, who is scheduled to perform a song he wrote at the United Nations annual ceremony for International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Benayoun is scheduled to be joined on stage at the U.N. in New York by singers David D’Or and Miri Mesika, who already have received their visas, and who will help him perform the song in Hebrew, English, and Arabic in a performance scheduled for Holocaust Remembrance Day.  The annual ceremony commemorates the liberation of Auschwitz on January 27.

The song, called “The Last Survivor,” was written by Moshe Klugheft and composed by Benayoun. A video of the song, to be screened at the U.N., features several Israeli Holocaust survivors.

The U.S. embassy told Ynet that Benayoun was not able to convince the US consul that he “has a strong connection to his country, which ensures his return to Israel after a short visit to the US.” Benayoun reportedly presented the embassy with his official letter of invitation from the U.N.  He reported has several performances scheduled for February and March in Israel, another reason that he says he will be returning.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry has been working to convince the US embassy to change its decision, according to Ynet.

Some have speculated whether the decision to prevent Benayoun from entering the United States is related to a 2015 song about a “corrupt, cruel” pet crow called Obama, for whom he wishes a swift death.

Left-wing Meretz Party lawmaker Esawi Frej in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for Benayoun to not be allowed to perform over what Frej called his racist views.

 

Benayoun has proven unafraid to risk his career with political statements that he knows will not be popular with the leftist media – most notably, a song he released in 2010, called “I am your Brother,” which searingly blasts Israelis who sell out Israel to its enemies.

The lyrics are as follows:

I guard your national identity

I defend your children

I give my life for your family

and you spit in my face.

After you fail to kill me from the outside

you come to kill me from within

I haven’t seen my mother for a month

not my children, my home, not my wife.

I always charge ahead

with my back to you

You sharpen the knife…

And more than anything, it is this thought which burns my soul.

And you, how do you not understand

I am your brother, you are the enemy.

You hate me, while I love.

When I cry, you laugh behind my back.

You are, after all, my brother

You are, after all, my brother

I am the future

you are the past.

and the present between us is broken.

I go hungry for you, while you are a glutton and are sated.

When my throat is dry, you drink

my mouth is always sealed for your safety

yet you give me away to foreigners

I am your brother, you are the enemy.

You hate me, while I love.

When I cry, you laugh behind my back.

You are after all, my brother

You are after all, my brother.

 

Another song named Ahmed, describing the Arab knife intifada also drew controversy and had many of his performances cancelled.

The lyrics are as follows:

Salaam Aleikum I am called Ahmed
And I live in Jerusalem
I study at the university a thing or two
Who enjoys all the worlds like me?
Today I am moderate and smiling
Tomorrow I shall ascend to heaven
I shall send to hell a Jew or two
It’s true that I am just ungrateful scum
That’s true, but I am not to blame, I grew up without love
The moment will come when you turn your back to me
And then I shall stick into you the sharpened axe.

I am Ahmed living in the central region
I work near a kindergarten and am responsible for gas containers
Who like me enjoys two worlds?
Today I am here and tomorrow they will not be here
Many of them, very many of them will not
It’s true that I am nothing but ungrateful scum
That’s true, but I am not to blame, I grew up without love
It’s true that the moment will come when you turn your back to me
And then I shall stick into you the sharpened axe
It’s true that I am nothing but ungrateful scum
That’s true, but I am not to blame, I grew up without love

It’s true that the moment will come when you turn your back to me
And then I shall shoot you straight in the back.

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