Questions We Zionists Need to Ask About Noa’s Concert Cancellation And Our Future



So what’s all the hoopla about? Noa is the only leading musician to perform in the historic peace rally where Yitzchak Rabin was murdered. Since then, she’s become Israel’s leading celebrity advocate for the two-state solution. She collaborates with my favorite Palestinian artist, Mira Awad (actress of the Israeli TV show Arab Labor, which you can watch online).

Ironically, it is precisely Noa’s efforts to bring about harmony that spark controversy. In her lending the olive branch, she has done things that irk, or even anger, the hard right, both here and in Israel. I will use the intentionally ambiguous label “hard right” to describe those who opposed Noa’s concert invitation to Adat Shalom.

Why is she a victim of boycott by fellow Zionists? Look to college campuses across the nation and you’ll find a trend of boycotting speakers and performers. Undoubtedly, the anti-Zionist movement often puts us all on the defense. I was on the student government board at Michigan State University when “hard left” anti-Zionists were invited to speak on campus. I sat quietly in the back with other respectful, yet scrutinizing and disapproving audience members.

The discussion topic regarding what Noa has or hasn’t done is moot between oppositional political theorists. The political left will look for the potential good that can come from her “bridge building,” while the political right will see these as potential risks toward securing our homeland. There’s truth to both. It all boils down to how you want to achieve your mission and goals.

Noa’s goal is a two-state solution, as she is attempting to build a pathway of peace between neighbors, a secure Israel and an independent Palestine. Take a moment to envision the steps toward achieving your goals and establishing a two-state solution: What challenges would you face? Given the current obstacles Israel faces, how might Noa’s intentions serve us well?

So here we are at a crossroads where a difference of ideologies exists. Do we accept that the hard right has deemed her anti-Israel, determining any Israeli peacemaker at risk for reprimand? The great Zionist thinkers envisioned complementary and opposing state goals such as secular versus religious, socialist versus practical, amongst others. Is it possible to thrive as a community despite our modern-day differences?

Thus, I strongly believe this intra-faith dialogue should be held outside of the Facebook world — and outside our comfort zone. It’s important to remember that for every opinion, there is an opposite one, and many in between. I have my own points of view, ideas and answers for all these questions, but I want this essay to push the boundaries of an ordinary opinion piece and act as an appeal for critical thinking and mutual understanding.

When we engage in the latter, let’s promise to be mentsh-like. Today, every Zionist is involved in some sort of uphill battle. If we want to protect Zionism, we have to protect each other, all of us.

Ariana Mentzel


Ariana Mentzel is a teacher at Congregation Shaarey Zedek, a JCRC/AJC board member and a member of the Jewish News Advisory Board.

Naomi D.
Naomi D. 05.17.2017

So many word and she didn't say nothing
This lady like most people in the community, doesn't understand anything about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
she probably based her opinion only on The English article over the websites. If she will read Hebrew she could see that things are different, and Noa have a different version in English.

Itamar Ilsar
Itamar Ilsar 05.17.2017

Contrary to the way it has been presented in some media outlets, those who thought that hosting Noa at Adat Shalom was a bad idea, comprise a group of people that is not only larger than a “vocal minority”, but is also much more diverse than “alt-right extremists”. My friends and I comprise a large group of Israelis and American Jews, who support pretty much every political view. The Israelis among us all served in the IDF, as did some of our American friends. Most of us are 30 to 50 years old, and our occupations include (to name a few) doctors, nurses, engineers, lawyers, entrepreneurs, teachers and scientists.

Attempts to portray us as bullies and bigots in social media are bogus. All we did was bringing the fact that Noa is a controversial figure in Israel to the attention of Adat Shalom staff and leaders of the Jewish and Israeli community. There were no threats, no demands, no ultimatums, no demonstrations.
Adat Shalom, its Clergy and Board members are not our enemy. None of Adat Shalom’s members is not, and never will be our enemy. Moreover, Achinoam Nini is not our enemy. We fully recognize, respect and support her right to have political views and opinions in addition to being an artist. I said all that to a senior member of Adat Shalom Clergy on Tuesday, May 2nd.

It is very strange and unfortunate that voicing a different opinion is framed in some places as aggression, and that there were some attempts outside of Adat Shalom to marginalize, demonize and delegitimize those who think differently. But I guess we weren’t alone. I just learned a few days ago, that we were in very good company. As Mr. Yost, himself indicated:” when Adat Shalom reached out to some Zionist organizations for help in promoting the concert, they declined to participate because of Noa’s political views.”. Does anyone believe that those organizations did what they did just because “Noa belongs to the peace camp and supports the two-state solution”?
There’s a little bit more to it.
- Noa publicly expressed her support of Israeli NGOs such as “Breaking the Silence”. Specifically, this organization’s activity primarily encompasses spreading blatant lies about IDF soldiers in European parliaments and the UN.
- Noa befriends a Palestinian leader who pays terrorists monthly grants for murdering Israelis, and openly incites again Jews and the Jewish State on a daily basis. And the more Israelis you kill, the bigger your grant is going to be.
- Noa belongs to a small minority that participates in an "alternative" Memorial Day service in Israel, where those who murdered innocent Israelis are mentioned and remembered with their victims.
- Noa publicly called Mr. Trump “modern day Hitler”, and equated Mr. Netanyahu to Mr. Trump in that respect. A couple of days after the cancellation of the concert, a public apology has been made, and the shameful post was removed, but Noa’s actions speak louder than her words.

So, contrary to what was published in some other media outlets, Noa’s views include more than just supporting the two-state solution and Jewish Arab co-existence- ideas which most Israelis and American Jews enthusiastically support and embrace.

Am Yisrael Chai!

CDM 05.18.2017

Well said Naomi. I really don't think Ariana Mentzel is a Zionist at all. Noa is probably her favorite singer. Both Ariana and Noa would love to see more of a one-state solution where Palestine runs everything and Israeli's will be either slaves, ex-communicated or exterminated. What's so funny is how Liberal Jews love Palestinians and think they love them.

Smiley Sparty
Smiley Sparty 05.20.2017

CDM: You "don't think Ariana Mentzel is a Zionist at all"? Says who? You and the other commenters here as well the recent BDS policy of forcing Adat Shalom to boycott Noa represent a disturbing trend among American Zionists and ex-pat Israelis. Silence the opposition and paint the opposition with hateful words and intentions.