PA bans Druse singer from Ramallah New Years bash

Following anti-"normalization" objections, PA police raid party hall, demand organizers cancel appearance.

Palestinian flags in Ramallah 311 (R) (photo credit: Fadi Arouri / Reuters)
Palestinian flags in Ramallah 311 (R)
(photo credit: Fadi Arouri / Reuters)
The Palestinian Authority banned a well-know Israeli Druse singer from appearing at a New Year’s Eve party in Ramallah.
The decision to ban Mike Sharif, known as “The Druse Boy,” was taken following strong protests and threats by many Palestinians who oppose “normalization” with Israelis.
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Sharif was raised in a village in the North and is one of the popular singers not only among Israeli Arabs but throughout the Arab world. He started his career as a singer at the age of seven.
The Palestinians were angered by the fact that Sharif was presented as an Israeli and that some of his songs were in Hebrew. Some said it was unacceptable that Israelis songs would be sung in Ramallah on the third anniversary of Operation Cast Lead. Others said they didn’t like the fact that a member of the Druse community, whose sons serve in the IDF, would appear at a party in Ramallah.
PA policemen raided the hall where the party was supposed to take place and ordered the owners to cancel Sharif’s appearance, eyewitnesses said.
The organizers of the event were forced to replace the Druse singer with another performer.
Meanwhile, Hamas reiterated that it remained committed to all forms of resistance against Israel, including armed struggle.
And a veteran PLO official, Zuhdi Nashashibi, was quoted over the weekend as calling on Palestinians to endorse the armed struggle against Israel.
“Popular resistance” alone was insufficient to face Israeli “dangers,” he said.
All forms of resistance are legitimate and legal, Nashashibi, a member of the PLO Executive Committee and a former Palestinian Authority minister, said.
The Hamas announcement was made in a statement marking the third anniversary of the IDF’s Operation Cast Lead offensive in the Gaza Strip.
“The path of resistance, jihad and martyrdom has proven to be the only way to extract our rights and liberate our lands, our Jerusalem and our holy sites,” Hamas said.
Hamas would not recognize Israel and would never give up one inch of the land of Palestine, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh declared on Friday.
He was speaking in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, where he delivered the Friday khutba [sermon] in a mosque.
Haniyeh is on a tour of a number of Arab and Islamic countries – the first of its kind since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.
“No to recognition [of Israel], no to a settlement [with Israel] and no to giving up one inch of the land of Palestine,” he said.
Hamas, he added, would not succumb to calls to abandon the armed struggle and jihad against Israel.
Haniyeh’s sermon was attended by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and senior government officials in Khartoum, as well as Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal.
Haniyeh called on Sudan and the rest of the Arab and Islamic countries to support the Palestinian effort to turn Jerusalem into their capital.
“Occupied Jerusalem needs Arab and Islamic support,” he said. “We need a powerful tremor to stop the measures of the Zionist occupation in the city. Jerusalem is facing a real danger and this is not just talk.
The occupation is about to complete its plan to Judaize the city and change its Arab its character.”