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Madonna concert in Tel Aviv on May 29: Her 2012 World Tour begins in Israel despite boycott

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Uploaded on Feb 10, 2012

JN1's Jordana Miller reports ahead of Madonna's coming May 29 appearance in Tel Aviv -- a concert marking the start of the singer's 2012 World Tour. This will not be Madonna's first appearance in the Holy Land -- she last performed in Israel in 2009. The seven-time Grammy winner is unabashedly pro-Israel, due in part to her study of Kabbalah, a form of ancient Jewish mysticism which taught her about Jewish tradition and history.

According to concert promoter Shuki Weiss, the show will be a spectacular but relatively intimate affair with half of the stadium venue taken up by an enormous stage, reducing capacity to just 30,000. Tough economic times have driven ticket prices down 30% in comparison to Madonna's 2009 concert. Seats will start at 75 USD, and VIP seats could cost 1,000 USD.

At her Sticky and Sweet concert, fans jumped to their feet and cheered as Madonna wrapped herself in the Israeli flag. But while Israelis embraced her in 2009, Palestinians assailed Madonna, especially on social media websites. They accused her of supporting the occupation and ignoring Palestinians. Madonna has refused to participate in the cultural boycott of Israel, a well-organized, pro-Palestinian movement that pressure artists not to perform in the Jewish state.

Weiss is against the boycott -- he says big-name stars don't have to stay away because they disagree with the Israeli government's policies. Concert organiser Shuki Weiss had this to say, "If there's a political involvement from the artist's side, this is the only country in this region where you can say and express your message because it's a complete democracy, and you're very welcome to do so."

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