Posted at 09:37 AM ET, 02/10/2012

Israeli Facebook page begs Netanyahu not to attack Iran until after Madonna show; sets off media firestorm

A Madonna fan page from Tel Aviv has the world talking.


Madonna performed at halftime at Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday. (Gregory Payan - AP)
Artist Kobi Zvili created the page five days ago as an online plea to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, asking him to hold off on any plans to strike Iran until after Madonna performs in Tel Aviv on May 29.

The page received just over 250 likes — not much for a Facebook fanpage, which can often garner hundreds of thousands of supportive clicks.

All the same, the page has been covered by major news outlets and celebrity blogs around the world. USA Today. NPR’s Morning Edition. Israel’s Haaretz. Russia Today. Times of India. Even Perez Hilton.

What is it about the fanless Facebook fan page that makes it so newsworthy? Perhaps it’s that the story is the perfect mix of love and war: The love of a fan (Zvili’s new Facebook cover photo: Madonna at the Super Bowl), and the whiff of war, between two of the world’s most dangerous rivals.

Zvili has a legitimate reason to be worried. International performers have bailed out on performances in Israel in the past. Depeche Mode canceled a performance in 2006, citing the intensifying crisis between Israel and Hezbollah, the Red Hot Chili Peppers called off a show in 2001, saying they had security concerns over Israel’s relationship with Palestine, and Cat Power ditched out on her Israel show last week, saying the “unrest” between the two countries made her feel “sick in spirit.” When Madonna’s tour starts in Tel Aviv, it will be her first since 2009.

Zvili also has reason to be concerned about an impending strike on Iran. Israel believes Iran poses a significant threat to Israel’s existence, and concern is growing worldwide over the progress of Iran’s nuclear program. Some Israeli officials, the Associated Press reports, believe Israel needs to attack Iran within six months.

For that reason, there has been criticism of the page as well. In its report on Zvili, Haaretz gently chastized the page for “dealing with trivialities . . . in the face of all-out war.”

Escapism? Maybe. As news of his page spread around the world yesterday, Zvili wrote: “This page and its organizers are anti-war.We are pro-peace. We love Madonna. it's just our humorous way of dealing with not so humorous life in the Middle East.”

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By  |  09:37 AM ET, 02/10/2012

Tags:  World, Israel, Iran, Madonna, Netanyahu

 
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