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Shame on you Stop the War Coalition


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  • Zionist Stevens
  • Cat Stevens Denied Entry to Israel

By Tim McGirk/Jerusalem

You’d think that if Shimon Peres invited you to Israel, getting a visa would be snap. After all, Peres does happen to be the country’s President, and surely that counts for something. But apparently not if you’re a musician named Yusuf Islam, formerly known as the folksy singer- songwriter Cat Stevens.Stevens, a Briton who converted to Islam over 30 years ago, was invited to play at a 10th anniversary bash for the Peres Center for Peace, along with Argentine singer Mercedes Sosa and Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli. According to the Israeli press, Stevens was excited about the show and was going to play a re-written version of his hit “Peace Train” alluding to peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

But the show’s producer Irit Tenhangel made a late check with the Israeli security services, who said that Stevens would not be allowed into Israel, even if it was at President Peres’ request.

In 2000, Stevens had been denied entry to Israel for allegedly making contributions to the Palestinian Islamic militant group Hamas. “This put me in a very embarrassing situation with Stevens and his personal manager,” Tenhangel told Ynetnews.com. “What am I supposed to tell them now, that the State of Israel doesn’t want him to come and talk about peace voluntarily?” She added: “He may have supported Hamas once, but the fact that a singer who converted to Islam wants to come to Israel and express his support for peace and we’re not letting him do so infuriates me.”

A name like Yusuf Islam on a passport does tend to set alarm bells ringing, and not just in Israel. In 2004, the singer, educator and philanthropist was barred from visiting the U.S. He was suspected of being an Islamic militant, but it’s not as though he was plotting to meet anybody subversive, just that most wholesome of American icons: country singer Dolly Parton, who had recorded several of Stevens’ songs. Half Swedish and half Cypriot, Stevens was your typical, hard-partying young pop star of the 1970s when a near-drowning sent him on a spiritual quest, often explored through his songs, that ended with his embrace of Islam in 1977. He jettisoned his pop idol career, and dedicated himself to Islamic religious study. Using royalties from his 60 million record sales, he set up Islamic charities helping famine victims and orphans around the world.

Israeli officials say that this mishap over Stevens’ invite could easily have been avoided if the organizers of Peres’ party had checked first with the foreign ministry. The law says that anyone declared non grata and expelled, as Stevens was in 2000, cannot be allowed back into Israel for at least 10 years.

And as for Stevens now being a “Man of Peace”, as he is often described, “his actions speak louder than his music”, says Government Press Spokesman Daniel Seaman. “A man of peace doesn’t give money to terrorist organizations that killed Israelis and those Palestinians who disagreed with them.”

Nevertheless, denying Israeli entry to Stevens, a musician who advocates co-existence between Israel and the Palestinians, and who is a respected figure throughout the Islamic world, undercuts the message of peace that Pres. Peres is trying to convey to his wary Arab neighbors. Happy anniversary, Mr President.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, UKComments Off on Shame on you Stop the War Coalition


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