Madonna offered her fans a little prayer for peace late on Thursday night, as she launched her 2012 MDNA World Tour at the National Stadium in Ramat
“If there is peace in the Middle East then there can be peace in the
whole world,” the iconic American music superstar said.
her concert with the solemn toll of a bell and the utterance of God’s name in
She first appeared on stage on her knees, in what looked like a
confessional booth. Only the silhouette of her body could be seen.
God, I am heartily sorry for having offended thee. And I detest all my
sins because I dreamt the loss of heaven and the pains of hell,” she
Amid her opening acts was a particularly violent number, “Gang
Bang,” in which she shot a man as she sat under a large cross and sang, “Bang,
bang, shot you dead.”
Blood appeared to splatter on a screen on
She performed lighter numbers including “Express Yourself,” in
which she appeared in a white and red marching band uniform.
of course, raunchy songs such as, “Like a Virgin,” and spiritual ones such as
“Like a Prayer.” During that number, performers wore costumes that were
reminiscent of Catholic priests and nuns, and biblical Hebrew words appeared in
purple lights against a black curtain.
As Madonna sang, thousands of fans
stood in the field by the stage. Many of them held up cellphones that almost
looked like a carpet of candles in the darkness.
Midway through the
concert, she stopped the music to talk about politics and her hope for peace in
the region and the world. She made vague references to a two-state solution when
she spoke of Israel and Palestine, and giving away land.
in Israel last week, after she ignored calls to boycott the country.
chose to start my world tour in Israel for a very specific and important
reason,” she said.
“All the conflicts that occur here [in the Middle
East] and have been occurring here for thousands of years; they have to
She referenced her decision to offer free tickets to members of
Israeli and Palestinian nongovernmental groups.
“There are several brave
and important NGOs that are represented, both Palestine and Israel [here]
together,” Madonna said.
“You cannot be a fan of mine and not want peace
in the world,” she said.
“We are all on different paths but we are all
sons and daughters of the universe. We are all human beings,” she said. “We all
want to love and be loved. It is easy to say I want peace in the world. But it
is another thing to do it.”
“If we can all rise above our egos and our
titles and the names of our countries and our religions. If we can rise above
all of that and treat everyone around us, every human being with dignity and
respect, then we are on the road to peace,” Madonna said.
“So no matter
how many laws we change and how many percentages of land we give back, no matter
how many talks, no matter how many wars, if we don’t treat every human being
with dignity and respect, we will never have peace,” Madonna said.
today, start now, each and every one of you is the future.”
She ended the
concert wishing everyone shalom and salaam.