April 12, 2011
Justin Bieber Didn’t Decline Meeting with Israeli Children
I just got a call from a spokesperson for Justin Bieber, who said the teenaged superstar appreciated my defending him in my previous post, “Justin Bieber Israel Drama: Give Bieber a Break.” But, the spokesperson added, the facts reported by some of the Israeli press (which I quoted) were incorrect, and Bieber would like to set the record straight.
Some outlets had reported that Bieber had had a meeting scheduled with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the night before his April 14 performance at Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park; that Bibi had taken advantage of the PR opportunity by inviting children who had been affected by the Gaza rocket fire to said meeting; that Bieber had subsequently declined to meet the children; and that Netyanyahu then canceled the meeting.
“There was never a meeting with [Netanyahu] actually scheduled,” the spokesperson, who asked to be referred to as “a member of Justin Bieber’s camp,” said. “We were talking about it but it never was scheduled.” The reason the meeting didn’t happen, he added, is because information kept leaking as to the logistics—and because the paparazzi situation had been so “brutal.” And since the meeting was never scheduled, “it was never canceled and it certainly didn’t have anything to do with the kids,” the spokesperson said. In fact, Bieber had already reached out to those children, and had invited them to be his guests at his concert on April 14.
Here’s a statement from Bieber’s people:
“Despite some logistical challenges, Justin is enjoying his first trip to Israel. 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 to be his guest at the concert in Tel Aviv on Thursday night.”
Here’s hoping that Bieber, a devout Christian who had been looking forward to “walking in Jesus’ footsteps,” can enjoy the rest of his first visit to the Holy Land.