From Material Girl to Zionist
The Material Girl, who provided a spectacle-filled half time show for attendees and viewers of the Super Bowl on Sunday night, scored her own Hebrew touchdown this week when she announced that her mega-tour to promote her new album MDNA would kick off on May 29 at Ramat Gan Stadium.
In a press conference, Israeli promoter Shuki Weiss disclosed that the 54-year-old cultural icon will arrive in Israel two weeks before the concert, accompanied by an entourage of more than 300 people, to carry out intensive rehearsals for the show.
And since debuts of world tours of someone of Madonna’s caliber are international news events, hundreds of foreign entertainment journalists are expected to descend on the country.
This provides an amazing PR opportunity for Israel to gain worldwide exposure for a news event that has nothing to do with the things we’re usually in the news for: Iran, Palestinians, Hezbollah, separate seating for men and women, or any other of the issues that the foreign media tends to focus on when Israel is the topic.
How cool is it that instead of more of the same, this time we’re going to be seen hand in hand with the world debut of Madonna’s show that is going to travel to over 50 other cities in the world and probably one of the biggest-grossing tours of the year. While it may be a coincidence that the tour is starting in Israel, Madonna’s past indicates that she’s developed a real affinity for the country and its people ever since she performed here for the first time in 1999 at Hayarkon Park.
Since then, she’s returned a number of times for event as the Kabbala Center in Tel Aviv, and in September, 2009, she closed her Sticky & Sweet tour back at Hayarkon Park with two shows.
“It isn’t even a regular visit anymore when she comes,” Weiss said at the press conference on Tuesday. “It’s as if she is the process of making aliya.”
What he probably meant was that Madonna likely feels comfortable with the country and its lifestyle to the extent that she decided to use it as a base for two weeks ahead of the tour’s opening.
“Every time I come here, I get so supercharged with energy,” she said onstage in 2009. “I truly believe that Israel is the energy center of the world. And I also believe that if we can all live together in harmony in this place, then we can live in peace all over the world.”
By choosing to open her tour here and bringing the world’s focus to our small country, Madonna is doing a great service in promoting the above ideals and spreading the word that what we have here is indeed the energy center of the world, and proving that in addition to whatever other monikors that she’s had hoisted upon her, there’s one more that fits her to a T: Zionist.