- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Elton John wasn’t required to declare his loyalty to Israel before he could schedule an upcoming show there, the Interior Ministry said Tuesday.

Contrary to claims made this week by the concert promoter responsible for booking the “Rocket Man” singer’s May 26 show in Tel Aviv, the musician was never asked to sign a supposed declaration of loyalty, Interior Ministry spokeswoman Sabin Hadad told Israel’s Haaretz news outlet this week.

“This is a blatant lie aimed at grabbing headlines at the expense of a government ministry,” Ms. Hadad said. “Never has any artist been asked to sign such a declaration.”

The promoter of the upcoming concert, Shuki Weiss, reportedly stated during a panel discussion on Monday that authorities demanded the British-born singer pledge his loyalty to Israel in order to obtain a visa to perform.

“Only two weeks ago Elton John was asked to sign a declaration of loyalty. That insane idea has been dropped,” Mr. Weiss said, according Haaretz.

That claim is “delusional,” Ms. Hadad told Haaretz, adding that the ministry is considering a libel suit against Weiss.

Mr. John has previously performed three times in Israel, most recently in 2010 when attempts to convince the singer to join a list of musicians who refuse to play in the Jewish state proved unsuccessful.

 

“Shalom, we are so happy to be back here!” he said on stage when the 2010 show went on as planned. “Ain’t nothing gonna stop us from coming, baby. … Musicians spread love and peace, and bring people together. That’s what we do. We don’t cherry-pick our conscience.”

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