The Shmooze

Dana International: 'Europe Has No Lessons To Teach Israel'

By Yanir Dekel

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Dana International made quite a splash this weekend at the Gay Pride in Amsterdam, when the Israeli transgender singing sensation lifted a cardboard sign in the shape of the Ten Commandments.

The sight of the Israeli singer, perched atop the Pride’s first Jewish boat, caused anti-Israel protestors to shout. But Dana, not one for shyness, answered back. Grabbing the microphone, she answered that the Jewish people are people who believe in love, in peace and in respect for all human beings.

The outspoken Israeli singer rarely hesitates to speak her mind.

Case in point: While a guest of honor at Israel’s embassy in The Hague, a video of her conversation with the Israeli Ambassador Haim Divon leaked online. The footage shows Dana looking back to all the anti-semitic and anti-Israel comments that she’s heard during her concerts around Europe. “You have murdered millions throughout history. If we look back a hundred years ago” Dana said, referring to European countries, “you conquered half of the world, you raped Africa. Now bring back all of Africa’s money.”

“And then we have to go to Belgium, to Mr. Leopold,” the Diva continued, “If any Belgian has anything to say about Israel, we’ll have to ask about the great Leopold, and where all the Belgian wealth came from.”

“We, the Israelis and Palestinians, we’re learning right now our first steps —  I’m sorry to say — of normal civilization. Of normal culture. It’s not like Europe hasn’t had wars. They’ve had many wars, over nationalities and other stupid things. Let me say it as a joke, as a Jewish joke, now it’s [quote unquote quote] our turn to learn FROM YOU how to be more civilized?”

“There’s no nation in Europe that is clean, that can come with a clean heart and say things about Israel,” adds Dana.

Hundreds of thousands of participants and spectators from all over the globe participate in Amsterdam’s Gay Pride every year. The famous parade is traditionally held on the city’s celebrated canals, with extravagant boats taking the place of traditional floats. This year was the first time an exclusively Jewish Boat participated in the parade, as a part of the first ever “Exodays,” a full weekend of Jewish/LGBT programs that attracted many LGBT people from around the world.


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