Letter to the Jewish community of Detroit & Jews in the Diaspora.

Achinoam Nini was invited to perform on May 18th in the Adat Shalom Synagogue in Farmington Hills.  Pressure from a local group in the Jewish community caused the performance to be cancelled.  An article was written about this in The Detroit Jewish News – this is my response to that article.

I would ask Jews around the world to please consider what is written here and how these issues manifest in the relationship their community has with Israel.

Dear Detroit Jewish News,

The way this article is put together highlights the extreme disconnect between the Jewish community in the USA and that in Israel.

I write this as a Detroit-born American who has lived in Israel more years than I lived in the United States.  I write this as an Israeli Jew, speaking to my American brothers and sisters.

You don’t understand.  Not at all.

Israel is a land of freedom.  Free speech is cherished, often to extreme levels.  It is fashionable for the artists and media to belong to the political left (exactly the opposite of the majority of the country who has right leaning tendencies).  There is no problem with criticism.  There is no problem with belonging to the “peace camp”.

(BTW – do you realize how arrogant and offensive the term “peace camp” is?  Do you really think everyone on the right wants war?).

Obviously, there are few people in the world who are as talented as Achinoam “Noa” Nini. She is world renowned for her voice and rightly so.  Although she is high in demand for performances for world leaders there is very little demand for her in Israel.  She spends very little time here.

Do you know why?

Her behavior has made her unofficially “persona non grata”.

credit:World News.

This isn’t a matter of freedom of speech.  Anyone can say whatever they want.  But there are consequences.  Noa is entitled to her opinions.  The fact that her opinions are so extreme, that she has more sympathy for the terrorists that murder Israelis than for her fellow Israelis, is what makes her repugnant to the majority of the population here.

But in America it is easy to declare that it’s “just about music, one should be able to differentiate the performer and her opinions.”

In the article, Jane Fonda is given as an example of a performer with objectionable politics that an “honorable” person “should be able to differentiate a person’s politics from their artistic abilities.”

Let’s consider Ms. Fonda.  What did she actually do?

Many young people were against the Vietnam War but she seemed to publicly be siding with the enemy while there were American POWs.  She crossed a line that many Americans, especially soldiers and people whose loved ones were soldiers considered unforgivable.  To this day, there are people who have not forgiven her, even though she has since apologized repeatedly.

Now consider Noa.  She doesn’t just have political opinions.  She has an agenda that supports those who attack Israel while ripping into Israeli society and the democratically elected government.

To her, Mahmoud Abbas, a terrorist financier, inciter and Holocaust denier is a “man of peace” while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a Nazi.

To her organizations that undermine the IDF, publishing lies about Israeli soldiers in international forums are legitimate and “peace loving”.

Every possible opportunity she implies that it is Israel’s fault terrorists are murdering us. That we are the violent and vile people while those attacking us are perfectly fine.

Noa, at every chance she gets, gives justification to those who commit acts of terror and war against her own people.

This stance is revolting to Israelis but even so, would be overlooked – if she did not push it so hard on people who attend her concerts, who listen to her speak publicly.

The problem is that going to her concert means supporting her agenda.  Hiring her to sing means supporting her agenda – because she is so vocal about it, it is impossible to separate the singer from the anti-Israel tune she is singing in every possible venue.

In America, it is easy to declare that it’s “just about music” because it’s not your children that are put in danger because of this woman’s ideas.

Americans couldn’t forgive Ms. Fonda for seeming to justify those attacking American soldiers fighting in a land that had nothing to do with the lives of the average American.

Noa justifies those who are murdering Israelis in our own land, every opportunity she gets, in every forum, in front of world leaders.  She supports those who vilify Israeli soldiers, the protectors of Israel, WHILE Israelis are being murdered.  And she has done so for years.

Now the question is – is it acceptable to pressure people that hire Noa to shut down the concerts?

In a normal situation, I would say no.  Threats of violence are certainly unacceptable (and from everything I read it seems that there were no actual threats of violence).  This, however, is not a normal situation.

Frankly, I was pleased to learn that there are some American Jews aware enough of what is happening to declare that hiring this woman is unacceptable.  Often, from Israel, it seems like American Jews are so out of touch that they have no idea what is happening in Israel or could care less.  From the comfort of America, it may seem acceptable to “simply enjoy the music and ignore the politics” but what is being ignored is the security of the only Jewish homeland in the world.  What is being ignored is our struggle for survival and the struggle to keep this land safe for all Jews if and when they need to come. (The Jews of France understand what this means.  I pray you never will be forced to truly understand this).

What is also being ignored is that the enemies of Jews always see Jews first.  Because you are comfortable does not mean that you are safe from Jew hate.  The Jews of Germany felt that they were Germans first but their neighbors felt otherwise.  You may think Noa’s extremism affects only Israelis and as such, you can ignore it, but if you need to send your kids to college, in America, you might begin to feel differently about people like Noa and the anti-Israel organizations she supports.

Not to speak is to speak.

This isn’t about free speech.  This is about life.

It is time to stand up for Zion. Even if that means missing out on some good music.

First published at Inspiration from Zion

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  1. Excellent last block paragraph….speaks volumes in a few lines. I am not about to go having a hate session on Jews….but for what I have seen in the US; East Coast – Washington to Boston, this writer is close to correct. I have met (many) American Jews…. who are reticent to identify as Jews…in offering declared physical, or oratory support for Israel and the never ending tenuous hold Israel has of the Jewish homeland….i.e. Israel could never afford to drop it’s guard for a second.

    I sometimes think that a lot of the very upwardly mobile, trendy Jews I have previously come in contact with on the US East Coast, may be that way – reticent to speak of, and for Israel, and it’s worldly positon, as a security like measure….given the high numbers of low life Leftists, and Arabs who now inhabit large swathes of the U.S. East Coast…..and that combination, are still the same savages one finds else where in the world….i.e. they would do physical harm to a Jew….or anyone for that matter, at the blink of an eyebrow. It would be a crying shame if this is reason why young US Jews…to me anyhow, seem reticent to declare themselves. I purposely do not use the word ashamed. I do believe self preservation, self security, has a lot to do with…even though on a couple of occasions, it appears to have totally smothered the identity of two persons I had on going dealings with.

    Still though, a top article by this writer…


    • Thank you very much for your feedback and thoughtful response!
      It is important for us to have friends who model courage – it is contagious. Even in scary times one must speak out. If it’s not done when things are not so bad, what will happen when there is no one left to speak for us?

  2. Will pass the message on for you in case she misses it. Thanks.

    • I probably made a hash of trying to convey what I mean. I have been on the East Coast of the US twice in the past 12 months. On both occasions it is quite obvious from the Jewish people I came in contact with; middle distance, reasonably conservative in their outlook, that they are very careful in their commentary and projected image…as if purposely wanting to blend in.

      The Jewish couple I stay with; in Delaware – Biden’s home state – hence Democrat – made no bones about telling me, in private, of their love and financial support for Israel, though would not dare to voice same in a public forum. They put this down to the preponderance increase of the political left….in varying forms from the centre of the left through to hard core radicals/activists.

      To see guerilla signage, graffiti – of the order of ‘hate jews’, ‘hate kikes’ is now so common place…in wide spread areas, on park benches, car park walls, bridge piers etc., An hour train trip from Wilmington to NY has it repeatedly on display.

      In essence, I can’t totally blame some Jews for exercising discretion over valour…as much as it is to Israel’s detriment as being a democratically driven nation. In NY the Arabs….”Pally’s” seem to receive nothing but kind graffiti salutations. Trumps’ got one sick Nation on his plate to deal with…or it appears that way in built up localities I visit. I am told it is not so much this way in the mid -western States, and lower mid-southern States.

  3. Larry Langman

    I commend reading not just the Detroit Jewish News article but the extended comment. Forest Rain Marcia makes a number of contributions. And yes her article above fairly represents her contribution.
    As an Israeli citizen who has put her time in for her Country Forest Rain Marcia has more than earned a right to comment. But what does one say of another Israeli citizen who has also put in her time for her Country does she not also have a right to comment.
    I had not heard of Achinoam “Noa” Nini much before this article. So I listened to her TED talk at the Eastern Mediterranean International School (EMIS). I came away impressed with her belief and commitment. And impressed with her voice!
    While it is possible to be impressed with two passionate articulate speakers, and take comfort from the fact that we have communities like that of Farmington Hills who choose to take stand, at some point we too must take a stand.
    Sadly we need go no further than Graham Coffey’s observations on his recent trips to the states, to realise that Noa’s approach is not one that we have the luxury to afford. While I can commend her “It doesn’t have to be this way!”……I am more persuaded by Forest Rains “Ah….but it is!”

    • Like yourself Larry…I had vaguely heard of Achinoam “Noa” Nini …though never to the extent that a little searching has now revealed. She seems to be a lady of contradictions….dependent upon the audience she is addressing. Without being totally au fait with her agenda; as to comment, I will make it my business to follow the lady a lot closer now.

    • Larry, thank you for reading and putting so much thought in to this issue. I am glad that you took the time to do some of your own research and come to your own conclusions. We need more people to actively think about the issues at hand and not just regurgitate whatever “position” is popular in their social circle.
      BTW – Today Ms Nini put out a video supporting the Hebrew University not playing the national anthem in their graduation ceremony. There is a better way – despite all the nice words (especially in English, she uses harsher language in Hebrew) her way is is not it.

  4. Larry Langman

    We have a number of contributors to this site that are based in Israel. I would love them to get together over the Ms Ninis of this world so that we here in the diaspora better understand where they are coming from. For instance is it that their ability to assess risk is differently shaped? Are we going to see more or less Ms Ninis in the future? What actually shapes their world view of Judaism….or do they take their Jewishness for granted in a way that no one in the diaspora could?
    The Hebrew University not playing the National Anthem? How is that even possible? We could not conceive of that in Australia…….

    If I Am Not For Myself….Who Will Be For Me?
    If I Am For Myself….Then What Am I ?
    And If Not Now…..When?

    To many of the Contributors to this site…the answer to these questions are well known and well understood…..But to the Achinoam Ninis of this world? What would be their answer?

    I wonder I truly wonder

    • Hi Larry

      I was almost bowled over when I heard that the Hebrew Uni didn’t play Hatikvah.
      I haven’t heard of this particular female but I know of another who is actually worse, her name escapes me. She is very crude and vulgar and likes to belittle ‘events’ such as the Holocaust.

    • Hi Larry,

      The Ms Nini’s of the world, at least in Israel, are an extreme minority.
      Your question necessitates a rather long answer. Basically, these people have completely inverted reality and have unconsciously adopted Jew hate as their own perspective.

      They would never recognize the hate they hold inside – like for example Noa, who sees herself as peaceful and good while everyone who objects to her behavior is “fascist” and “monstrous”. She doesn’t recognize that she is expressing hate for her own people (and in doing so, herself).

      This is a type of Stockholm Syndrome where you identify with your enemies rather than your own people. Some are incentivized by foreign money for this. Others simply enjoy being embraced and accepted by elites in other countries – this is very common among artists, media and academics).

      If you have ever listened to Tuvia Tenebaum speak about his book “Catch the Jew” you will get a lot more insight on this subject.

      Personally, I believe this is the true danger to the Jewish people – we can stand against the enemies from without, it is the enemies from within that endanger our future. This has always been the case for the Nation of Israel and I believe the same is true today. The uninformed can be confused by the nice tone and smooth presentation people like Noa use. They seem so nice and sincere, they must be telling the truth, right? Few people bother to check, read, ask. The younger generation doesn’t know because their parents didn’t actively teach them and they are fed lies in their schools, synagogues and media. We need to teach those who are willing to listen and sway the balance. It’s the only way.