Enrico Macias has been invited back to his native Algeria to perform, however the government minister who invited him is facing backlash for the invitation to the pro-Israeli and Jewish singer.
In the past, plans for Macias to return to Algeria have been cancelled, on two separate occasions. The first in 2000, when street protests urged authorities to ban his entry into the country. In 2007, then French President Nicolas Sarkozy planned to bring the singer as part of his official delegation to Algeria during a state visit, but the Algerian Prime Minister reportedly said he would boycott the French leader’s visit if Macias attended.
“Nobody banned Macias from entering the country in which he was born and raised,” Algeria’s Minister of Communications Naser Mehal said in an interview with Radio Orient on Thursday. “All French citizens are welcome in Algeria and this includes Macias.”
Mehal has personally invited Macias to come to Algeria.
An Algerian activist has called for Macias’ invitation to be rescinded on the grounds that he is supportive of Israel.
UPI quotes a political analyst telling an Algerian news network that the country’s citizenry “are known for their dislike of all things Jewish.”