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Tunisian singer chants 'long live Bibi'

Arab world raging following reports that Mohsen Sharif praised Israeli prime minister during performance in Eilat. While Facebook groups urge government to revoke his citizenship, singer says has 'no idea who Netanyahu is'



Published: 08.06.10


Did Tunisian singer Mohsen Sharif praise none other than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu? A clip posted on the Web in recent days shows Sharif trying to encourage his audience during one of his concerts by shouting, "Long live (Tunisian President) Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, long live Bibi Netanyahu! Long live Bibi!"

According to Tunisian newspaper al-Sabah, Sharif made the remark while performing in front of a Jewish audience during a visit to the Israeli resort town of Eilat. The newspaper reported that the singer called on the audience to visit the city of Djerba, which has a small Jewish community, for a celebration held in the city during the month of May.



It is unclear whether Sharif actually visited Eilat and how he arrived there, but according to Arab reports, the scandalous performance did take place.



Shortly after the reports came out, media and culture figures called on the Tunisian government to revoke Sharif's citizenship or at least boycott his performances. According to the singer's rivals, he is involved in "artistic normalization with Israel."



Thousands join anti-Sharif group
"This is an unusual phenomenon which must be condemned and judged," said Ahmed al-Kahlwai, head of the Tunisian committee supporting the resistance in Iraq and Palestine.



"We, the Tunisian people, are in favor of Palestine. We sing for the resistance in Palestine, Iraq and other Arab countries, against the Zionists and the Americans. He must be put on trial," Kahlawi told an al-Jazeera broadcaster, who was horrified by the fact that the Tunisian president's name was mentioned in the same sentence as "the leader of the enemy state."



But that wasn't the only arena where Sharif was slammed this week. Thousands of members have already joined various Facebook groups calling for his boycott, and as the clip is being posted across the Web, the group's popularity is growing stronger.



In one of the groups he was called "the traitorous agent" and its members urged the government to revoke his citizenship and prevent him from performing in Islamic events.




Thousands joined a group named, "We hate Mohsen Sharif," and some even called for his execution. Supporters of another group suggested "apologizing to Palestine."



And what was Sharif's response to the outcry? The singer was quoted by Arab media outlets as saying that "the remarks must not be taken out of the context of the performance. I have no idea who Netanyahu is."



http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3931331,00.html

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Added: Aug-13-2010 
By: aydeo
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Iraq, Middle East
Tags: Tunisian singer, Mohsen Sharif, chant, 'long live Bibi'
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  • "He must be put on trial."

    So much for free speech.

    Posted Aug-13-2010 By 

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  • oh my god i am totally shocked by what i see! not. who cares realy?

    Posted Aug-13-2010 By 

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  • Comment of user 'giepster' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • WOW I'm surprised, Muslims are usually a very tolerant and worldly people.

    Posted Aug-13-2010 By 

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  • it's saddening to see how so many nations still do not recognize the fact Israel exists. Not only that but from this quote "We sing for the resistance in Palestine, Iraq and other Arab countries, against the Zionists and the Americans" there are those who are calling for Iraq to defeat the americans. i may not be for the iraq war but I'm not singing for iraqi insurgancy. The calls for censorship over democracy reminds me of certain xenophobic movements in the US. sigh

    Posted Aug-14-2010 By 

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  • So much for Arabs "killing" and "expelling" all jews in their countries...

    Posted Aug-13-2010 By 

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    • no,no,no... of course not.

      arabs never killed or expelled jews. never.
      they only helped the jews and cared for them like brothers...

      Posted Aug-13-2010 By 

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    • They did until 1948

      Posted Aug-14-2010 By 

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    • according to your history, maybe...

      Iraq is only one example for what you prefer to ignore - after king faisel death in 1933 a harsh descrimination begun against the jews and many of them lost their jobs.
      when WWII started there also was a nazi propaganda against the jews, and the peak was in the anti-jewish riots of 1941, during the iraqi rebelion against the british and in favour of the germans.
      these riots are known as the "farhud", and during them taking place 180 jews were ki More..

      Posted Aug-14-2010 By 

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    • Once a shmuck alway a shumck eh? Was Tunisia one of the countries that Jews were expelled from or are you talking out of your misguided ass again?

      Posted Aug-15-2010 By 

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    • Shh! crap is coming out of your mouth...

      Posted Aug-18-2010 By 

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