Tunisian Singer Causes Outcry After Offering to Perform, Possibly Live in Israel
A popular Tunisian singer sparked outrage in his home country after announcing his willingness to perform in Israel and expressing a preference for life in the Jewish state, the Arabic language newspaper al-Araby al-Jadeed reported on Tuesday.
Hedi Tounsi told a radio interviewer that he would now be willing to sing for Radio Tel Aviv, in spite of having turned down past opportunities to do so. He said he is motivated by his “financial future,” because, he claimed, Israel respects art more than Tunisia does. The singer then went a step further, according to the report, saying he would prefer to live in Israel, and is willing to forfeit his Tunisian citizenship.
Tunisians condemned Tounsi’s remarks on various social media networks and accused the singer of unacceptable and humiliating normalization with Israel, al-Araby reported. Some accused Tounsi of betraying Tunisia and the Palestinian cause, while others called on the authorities to prosecute him for his comments.