Pop icon launches world tour in Ramat Gan, making reference to Israel, Palestine and giving away land.
By TOVAH LAZAROFFPublished: JUNE 3, 2012 01:09Advertisement
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 Gan.“If there is peace in the Middle East then there can be peace in the whole world,” the iconic American music superstar said.Madonna opened her concert with the solemn toll of a bell and the utterance of God’s name in Hebrew.She first appeared on stage on her knees, in what looked like a confessional booth. Only the silhouette of her body could be seen.“Oh my 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 said.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 stage.She performed lighter numbers including “Express Yourself,” in which she appeared in a white and red marching band uniform.There were, 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.Madonna arrived in Israel last week, after she ignored calls to boycott the country.“I 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 stop.”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.“Start today, start now, each and every one of you is the future.”She ended the concert wishing everyone shalom and salaam.
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