Gad El Maleh has unfortunately canceled his performances scheduled for July 13-15th as part of the Beiteddine Festivals.
He has recently been a target of Almanar news website (mouthpiece of Hezbollah). They had claimed on their website that he is a French-Israeli artist, or "so called humorist" who is a supporter of Israeli "interests". They also claimed that he served in the Israeli army for 4 years and that he supports the "zionist" state and its' army.
Needless to say, all these claims have been refuted by El Maleh's producer and agent as incorrect and malicious. Understandably, in the face of accusations like these coming from Hezbollah, the artist has cancelled his travels and scheduled appearances in Lebanon, fearing his safety and the safety of his entourage.
I tried to find more information on the artist, but was unsuccessful.
It appears to me that this entire Hezbollah fuss is about the guy being Jewish, which in and of itself, would be a very sad reason to ban or veto an artist from coming to perform in Lebanon. Judaism is supposed to be an officially recognized and respected sect in Lebanon, and Lebanon's message as a cultural and pluralistic society is being tarnished.
I sincerely hope that something like this does not happen again. I don't see the guy's religion as enough cause to derail his entire performance in Lebanon. This goes against everything Lebanon stands for.
Now, if the Almanar claims are true and it is proven that El Maleh served in the Israeli army and/or is an active supporter of Israeli causes, then this course of action would be appropriate and we should not host him as a nation. However, it appears that the whole affair was unfair and more of a referendum on his religion than his actions.
1 day ago