Several months ago, the ceremony's production company approached Geffen, asking if he would be willing to perform hit song "Yoman Massah," originally written for the late Arik Einstein, another well-known Israeli rocker. Geffen was supposed to perform the song at the ceremony with singer Sarit Hadad.
But while Geffen confirmed his participation, he did not hear back from the production company.
According to Channel 2 journalist Amit Segal, Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev, who is entrusted with planning the ceremony as well as other events to celebrate Israel's 70th Independence Day, was the one who instructed the production company not to get back to Geffen.
"I learned from the media that I won't be appearing in this year's torch-lighting ceremony, after being asked to take part," Geffen wrote in response. "The official reason: The song Yoman Massah doesn't fit (the occasion). The real reason: Politics."
Minister Regev did not comment on the matter.
The Culture Ministry's PR Center said in response, "Aviv Geffen will not be appearing at the torch-lighting ceremony due to a decision made by professionals entrusted with the production and the ceremony's artistic content. The list of artists has been closed."