Spectacle cancelled after pro-Israel video sparks anger

TUNIS- A musical show scheduled for the Carthage International Festival was called off Monday after its actors sparked outrage on the Internet for performing for Israelis.
Selim Baccouche, actor and organiser of the musical "Nouraniet" cancelled his show, due to be performed on Monday, after his co-actor, Tunisian performer Mohsen Cherif, shouted support for Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a video posted on social networking site Facebook.

"Long live Netanyahu! Long live Bibi!" Cherif said at the concert for Israelis of Tunisian origin, using Netanyahu's nickname.
Festival organisers said the show had been cancelled because Baccouche was "indisposed". A press conference he was to have held was also called off.
Baccouche himself was the target of criticism after a video showed him and other Tunisian artists performing for Israelis at a concert during a pilgrimage to the Ghriba synagogue in Djerba, in the south of Tunisia.
Thousands of cybernauts angrily demanded that the musical be cancelled and some called for Cherif to be stripped of his Tunisian citizenship.
Unions, including those representing musicians, condemned the "slur on national sentiment", calling it a "shameful act" for Tunisians, who are generally sympathetic to the Palestinian cause and hostile towards links with Israel.
Baccouche defended the video and said he was only responding to demand from a public for whom "all Tunisian artists, without exception" perform each year.
"Why this video appeared one week before my show...I do not understand it," he added on the website Kapitalis.

Monday, August 9th 2010

New comment:

News | Politics | Features | Arts | Entertainment | Society | Sport

At a glance