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Peres and Madonna
Photo: Moshe Milner, GPO
Madonna tells Peres she is 'in love with Israel'
Pop star meets president at his Jerusalem residence during visit to attend conference on Kabbalah

"Tell me what I should do, Mr Peres, because I am in love with Israel," pop star Madonna, who is visiting the Jewish state to attend a conference on Kabbalah, told President Shimon Peres on Saturday evening.

 

The pop star was seen entering Peres' Jerusalem residence after the end of the Jewish New Year at sunset Saturday.

 

In the meeting, which lasted longer than scheduled, Peres spoke about peace and tolerance, the war on terror and ways in which international artists and celebrities can take part in advancing the peace process.

 

"I can't believe I have won this opportunity to raise a toast for the New Year in the state of Israel of all places, with the president who I admire so much," Madonna said.

 

The pop star promised to be active in promoting the issues Peres referred to and said she would include a song about peace in her next album.


Peres with Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie (Photo: Moshe Milner, GPO)

  

"You don’t know how popular the Book of Splendor (Sefer Hazohar) is among Hollywood actors," Madonna told the president. "Everyone I meet talks to me only about that. I am an ambassador for Judaism, and time will tell."

 

Talking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Madonna said, "What is happening is terrible. I hope the human mind and common sense overcome extremism."


Discussing books (Photo: Moshe Milner, GPO)

 

Madonna gave Peres the Book of Splendor with the dedication, "To Shimon Peres, the man I admire and love, Madonna."

 

The president gave the pop star a golden bible designed by Israeli sculpture Ya'acov Agam with a personal dedication.

 

On Friday, Madonna was filmed singing Jewish songs and dancing at a conference on Kabbalah with a crowd of hundreds at a Tel Aviv hotel.

 

Madonna, who arrived in the Holy Land on Wednesday, has become a follower of Kaballah in recent years despite her background as a Roman Catholic. Orthodox Jews have called her interest in the sect an abomination.

 

The singer has taken the Hebrew name Esther, and has been seen wearing a red thread on her wrist in a Jewish tradition to ward off the evil eye.

 

Madonna was expected to leave for Britain on Sunday morning, but plans to return to Israel on the weekend for Yom Kippur.

 

AP contributed to this report

 

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