When Greek singer Glykeria performs the song "Shabechi Yerushalaim" in Israel, she receives heavy applause. But recently, when she sang the hit in Greece, the reactions were completely different.
Glykeria is extremely popular in Israel. She performs in the Jewish state and sings in the Hebrew language on a regular basis.
A group of Israeli businesspeople, who were present at a Glykeria gig at a nightclub in Athens last week, sent her a bouquet of flowers and asked her to sing the Hebrew song "Shabechi Yerushalaim." Glykeria accepted.
The performance was held while the IDF was operating in the Gaza Strip. The club was packed, not only with Greek and Israeli fans, but also with a group of Arabs, some of them Palestinians.
As Glykeria started singing the song in Hebrew, the Arab viewers started shouting, whistling out loud and booing in an attempt to stop the show.
"Glykeria was terrified. The Arabs caused a mess, and it was really unpleasant. We felt as if the conflict is chasing us to Athens," said Amnon Angel, one of the businesspeople who watched the show.
According to Angel, the security guards jumped on the Arab viewers and dragged them outside. "They had a lot of hatred in their eyes. They were frantic. We sat there quietly and did not enter any conflicts," Angel said.
But the incident did not end at this point. At the end of the gig, when Glykeria arrived at her room, she found a letter saying that "while Palestinian children are murdered in Gaza, you collaborate with the Zionists."
'Nothing will damage her love for Israel'The club owners filed a complaint with the police, and Glykeria was given a bodyguard.
"She is surprised, but not afraid," her husband said. "Glykeria loves Israelis and feels great visiting Israel and singing in Hebrew."
The singer's personal manager, Zion Kedem, confirmed the report, stressing that "nothing will damage Glykeria's love for Israel."
Last week, Glykeria released a new album in Hebrew titled "Matana" ("Gift"). The album includes a song written by President Shimon Peres and a duet with Israeli singer Chava Alberstein.
Glykiera has sold 400,000 copies of her albums in Israel. She says she feels a special connection to the Jewish state, which she has often paid a price for in her homeland.
The Greek media has criticized Glykeria over her admiration for Israel while many other Greek artists usually express their solidarity with the Palestinians.