Elton John was asked to sign loyalty pledge, Israeli concert producer claims

Marcy Oster

British singer Elton John, who performed in Ramat Gan, Israel on June 17, 2010, said nothing would stop him from coming to perform in Israel. (Flash90 / JTA)

British singer Elton John is scheduled to make his fourth concert in Israel this May. (Flash 90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Interior Ministry denied a claim by an Israeli concert organizer that singer Elton John was asked to sign a pledge of loyalty to Israel in order to get a visa.

The ministry has threatened to sue producer Shuki Weiss over the claim he made on Monday, at a conference sponsored by the Hebrew daily newspaper Yediot Acharonot and Ynet on the issues surrounding the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

Weiss said a question on the standard visa entry form is problematic. It says: “I declare that I have never acted against the Jewish people or the security of the State of Israel.”

He said John, who is scheduled to perform in Tel Aviv on May 26, is not the only artist to refuse to sign the form. John has performed three times previously in Israel, the latest in 2010.

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The Interior Ministry spokeswoman told Haaretz the claim was “delusional.”

“This is a blatant lie aimed at grabbing headlines at the expense of a government ministry,” the spokeswoman said. “Never has any artist been asked to sign such a declaration. We are considering a libel suit against Weiss.

“Why hasn’t Shuki Weiss, who brings foreign artists here every Monday and Thursday, ever raised an outcry over the years and waited until today?”

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