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Jewish Journal

Israel is Not Playing Nice with Justin Bieber

by Ilana Angel

April 12, 2011 | 10:43 pm

Justin in Israel

If you read my blog on a regular basis you know that I love Justin Bieber.  I simply love this kid in the same way I loved David Cassidy as a kid, only without the secret desire to marry him.  I own his albums, saw his movie, and listen to him every day on my iPod.  He is fabulous.

I was so happy to hear that Justin was going to be visiting Israel.  Not a Sarah Palin drive by for press, but a real visit, with a concert, plans to visit the sites, and really have an opportunity to see how beautiful Israel is, how wonderful her people are, and feel the history.

It is disappointing to hear that he is having such a hard time, and that his simple desire to see the country has tuned into something political.  Justin tweeted this morning that he was stuck in his hotel room unable to tour the country because of the paparazzi.  Yes, I follow Justin on Twitter.

Justin tweeted: “I just want to have the same personal experience that others have here.”  Israel is magical and that a boy who has such faith is not able to see the places of biblical importance is a shame.  In a time when faith matters to fewer kids, it’s lovely he had this goal.

Justin tweeted again with: “You would think paparazzi would have some respect in holy places.  All I wanted was the chance to walk where Jesus did here in Isreal.  They should be ashamed of themselves. Take pictures of me eating but not in a place of prayer, ridiculous.”

“People wait their whole lives for opportunities like this, why would they want to take that experience away from someone.  I want to see this country and all the places I’ve dreamed of and whether it’s the paps or being pulled into politics its been frustrating.”

Justin says he will spend the rest of his visit in the hotel which is heartbreaking.  He said: “I’m just excited at this point to get on stage and perform. Gonna take a little break from Twitter and enjoy this time with my family until then.” Ending his tweets with: “patience is a virtue.”

As if his being trapped by his fame was not enough, he was then dragged into politics when Prime Minister Netanyahu cancelled a meeting with Justin.  Justin’s people and the PM’s office seem to have different reasons for the cancellation but either way, Israel loses.

Netanyahu agreed to a meeting and then suggested children from southern Israel be included in the meeting.  His office says Bieber cancelled the meeting because they did not want to include the kids.  That simply does not make sense or sound like anything Justin’s camp would say.

According to Bieber’s people, “Justin welcomes the chance to meet with kids facing difficult circumstances, regardless of their background, and in fact, he had already invited children from the Sderot area.”  This kid is generous with his time and I’m not buying the political drama.

In a country with so much recent violence, one would think they would be a little more welcoming of this young man.  Artists like Elvis Costello and the Pixies have refused to perform in Israel because of politics, so when someone of this magnitude is willing to come, embrace him.

Justin Bieber is arguably the biggest pop star in the world and he is in Israel.  That is huge.  Netanyahu met with Sarah Palin who is ripping the country apart, yet he would not meet with a boy whose music is know by children regardless of their faith or language.  It’s just wrong.

I love you Justin and I hope the concert in Israel on Thursday is wonderful.  Those who are lucky enough to be there will love you and take away any bad feelings you have about Israel.  Just take it all in and know that the history surrounds you.  Be safe, and keep the faith.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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