Though the current round of Madonna concerts in the Holy Land came to a close with her performance Wednesday at Yarkon Park, the media storm surrounding the queen of pop's visit has not subsided. This time around, reports of a less positive nature are coming in.
Pictures of the pop star wrapped in an Israeli flag made their way around the internet and world newspapers, outraging Palestinian youth in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Madonna performing in Tel Aviv on Wednesday on Youtube
A video clip showing Madonna in the Israeli flag was uploaded to Youtube, drawing hundreds of angry responses, most of which included some choice words (which cannot be published here) against Madonna and Israel. Among the more obscene was a response from a UK user calling the singer a "devil worshipper" and telling her "to go burn in hell, you're end is near."
Some of her more loyal fans have refrained from such harsh language, but didn't hold back their criticism, saying that Madonna should recognize Palestinian suffering at the hands of Israel and the US.
Other Youtube users even went far enough to say that Madonna sees herself as a Jew, while others even claimed that Judaism itself is an invention.
Madonna and her daughter, Lourdes, on stage (Photo: Mor Shaham)
According to Hania Bitar, director general of the Palestinian Youth Association for Leadership and Rights Activation, protest against the pop star is gaining momentum among youth in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Bitar explained that though the responses seen on the internet may be crass, they are merely a form of expression for frustrated youth who are not able to see Madonna perform because the territory they live in is under Israeli blockade.
Bitar said that Madonna has a wonderful voice and is a great singer, even though she is provocative. She explained that the Palestinians tend to take issue with her because Madonna tries to place herself as a global role model, but consistently ignores Palestinian suffering.
According to Bitar, every time she adopts a child from a war-torn area, she is making a political statement and is trying to draw world attention to the strife in these countries, just as Mother Theresa did. "But what about Gaza?" quipped Bitar.
Ending her world tour in Israel (Photo: Mor Shaham)
Bitar emphasized that it is Madonna's right to sing for Israelis and to wrap herself in an Israeli flag. On the same token, however, she asked Madonna to adopt a Palestinian child in order to understand that Palestinians are fighting for their freedom and don't want violence.
Bitar also referred to Madonna's connection to Judaism and Kabbalah, saying that this creates a religious connection between her and Israel. However, Bitar would like Madonna to show understanding for the Palestinians living under Israeli occupation as well.
Bitar claimed that if Madonna loves Israel so much, she must make the country put an end to the occupation, saying that if the international pop legend supports both the Palestinians and the Israeli side, she will have a greater effect than if she stands up just for Israel.