Israel’s ‘Hair’ Star Rips Haaretz After Criticism of His Support for IDF Troops (VIDEO)
Israeli stage actor, Oz Zahavi, set to lead in an upcoming remake of the iconic musical, “Hair,” has slammed an op-ed in the left-of-center Haaretz newspaper charging that his character, Berger, “would be turning over in his grave” for Zehavi’s support of the Israeli army, Israel’s Ch. 2 News reported Thursday.
Zahavi was responding to reviewer Moran Sharir, who referred to quotes from the actor strongly supporting the troops during the IDF’s Operation Pillar of Defense against Gaza rocket fire in 2012.
Zahavi, in a furious riposte on his Facebook page, wasted no time in returning fire.
“Really Haaretz? So I’ll clue you in on what’s inside this ‘pretty little head’:
“I supported the IDF’s soldiers during Defensive Edge and I do not regret it. As part of my worldview, I believe a combat soldier deserves the support of his people so he won’t feel like he’s alone in the battle. And statements about the legitimacy of the operation are out of place during the fighting, in my opinion. An opinion I came to accept after conversations with soldiers at Beaufort [castle, during fighting in Operation Peace for Galilee in Lebanon], in order to prepare for one of my roles.
“While the ‘Four Mothers’ [anti-war protest group] demonstrated in Tel Aviv to withdraw from Lebanon, the soldiers said they felt they were there for no reason and were dying as cannon fodder. I did not want soldiers and bereaved families to feel that their friends and their family members died in vain.
“Please note that even [former Labor Party Chief and then-journalist] Shelly Yachimovich backed the government at the time – and this is from one whose job it is to be the opposition!
“And if I’d had a different opinion, I’d state it; I’m not afraid of anyone. And there is no connection between this statement and my particular political views. It’s a matter of mutual respect.”
“As for the Ynet interview about ‘Hair’: There is no connection between what I said during the [military operation] and ‘Hair!’
“They came to interview [the cast] and I told them where I found a personal connection. ‘Berger was turning over in his grave?’ Let him spin like a top, for all I care.
“I am not an anarchist and I do not pretend to be one. I am a law-abiding citizen who is also an actor who finds a connection to every character, be it an anarchist, a soldier, a criminal or any other characteristic.
“Beyond that, I do not judge the character according to what he says, but by what he does. Something that can’t be said about you – the Haaretz newspaper.”
Zahavi concluded his post with an entertaining comment:
“I have two things to say to you:
“1. You were wrong in your analysis of Oz Zahavi in ‘Hair.’
“2. Go see ‘Hair:)’
“I don’t know about you all, but I’m going to go make popcorn.
“Oz Zahavi against Haaretz.
“Maybe ‘The Age of Aquarius’ isn’t so far off, after all.”
Watch the Bet Zvi production in a revival performed in 2008: