Today in Madonna History: October 4, 1993

girlie-show-tel-aviv

On October 4 1993, Madonna performed The Girlie Show in Israel, despite protests by Jewish groups to cancel her show.  The sold-out concert was performed at Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv, in front of 80,000 adoring fans.

Today in Madonna History: May 19, 2019

On May 19 2019, Madonna was scolded in the international press for “making a political statement” during her performance at the Eurovision Song Contest held the previous day, which ended with performers wearing Israeli and Palestinean flags on their backs with arms interlocked in embrace and the words “wake up” appearing on a stage screens.

Madonna’s camp responded with what should be (but is apparently not) obvious: “A message of peace is not a political statement.”

Here is the common definition of the term political statement:

The term political statement is used to refer to any act or non-verbal form of communication that is intended to influence a decision to be made for or by a political party. A political statement can vary from a mass demonstration to the wearing of a badge with a political slogan.

How exactly Madonna’s performance constitutes a political statement in the eyes of the media is puzzling. She did not endorse the political advancement or agenda of either side; she simply reiterated her longstanding and widely expressed wish for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

A more reasonable argument would be that had she not included this symbolic gesture in her performance, it may have been construed as muted political support for Israel’s position. By making the gesture she did, she instead reiterated her political neutrality and her wish for peace.

Equally telling was the network’s response that its desire was to broadcast an entertainment special that essentially whitewashed the realities of the conflict. Clearly, they would have us believe that ignoring the conflict is the acceptable, non-partisan stance, while acknowledging the conflict and expressing one’s hope for its peaceful resolution should be viewed as provocational or controversial.

The irony is that it is only those who are trying to frame Madonna’s actions as a political statement that are, in fact, making one.

Today in Madonna History: September 1, 2009

On September 1 2009, the final Sticky & Sweet Tour date took place in Tel Aviv, Israel.

This is the official press release for the final show:

For Immediate Release:

Madonna’s triumphant and record shattering Sticky & Sweet Tour will be making its last and final stop September 1st in Tel Aviv, Israel at the Yehoshua Gardens (HaYarkon Park). Tickets will go on sale this Wednesday, June 3rd – complete details below.

“I’m very excited about returning to Israel for my last and final show. I know it will be unforgettable” commented Madonna who last performed in Israel in 1993.

The Sticky & Sweet Tour – a stunning extravaganza gives fans a breathtaking never before seen or heard once-in-a-lifetime experience. One of the top selling touring acts of all time, Madonna’s Sticky & Sweet tour played 58 cities last summer to wild critical acclaim and before over two and a half million adoring fans including sold out performances in Paris (80,000 tickets sold), Zurich (72,000 tickets sold), London (74,000 ticket sold), Vancouver (50,000 tickets sold), South America (650,000 tickets sold) and three sold out Madison Square Garden Shows in New York City.

“In the premiere league of song-and-dance spectaculars, the queen of pop remains unrivalled and undefeated” raved the London Times of Madonna’s show in England. Sticky & Sweet is scheduled to start up again in London’s 02 Arena on July 4th with additional dates in France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Russia, Sweden and many other countries before finishing on September 1st in Tel Aviv. Madonna joined creative forces with director Jamie King to create Sticky & Sweet which includes a troupe of l7 dancers, a specially built stage, hundreds of costumes and cutting edge visual technology. A multi million platinum selling recording artist, world class entertainer, singer, producer, songwriter, visual revolutionary, children’s book author, film director, documentarian, cultural icon and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Madonna’s career continues to inspire her many fans around the world. She continues her unparalleled career which thankfully for her legion of fans shows no signs of slowing down.

Today in Madonna History: January 21, 2015

rebelheart-fbi-1

On January 21 2015, an undercover investigation by the Internet crime unit of Israel’s anti-fraud police resulted in the arrest of a Tel Aviv man suspected of hacking into Madonna’s home computer, stealing unreleased music and selling the tracks online.

The investigation began after a complaint by Madonna’s manager, Guy Oseary.  With the cooperation of the FBI, the hack was found to be larger in scale and involved more musicians than just Madonna.

An expert in Internet crime was sent to New York City to inspect Madonna’s computers, where he confirmed a hack originating in Israel. Police searched the suspect’s home, seizing computers and media storage devices.

Madonna had this to say about the Rebel Heart album leaks incident:

“I am profoundly grateful to the FBI, the Israeli Police investigators and anyone else who helped lead to the arrest of this hacker. I deeply appreciate my fans who have provided us with pertinent information and continue to do so regarding leaks of my music. Like any citizen, I have the right to privacy. This invasion into my life – creatively, professionally, and personally remains a deeply devastating and hurtful experience, as it must be for all artists who are victims of this type of crime.”

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Today in Madonna History: October 4, 1993

girlie-show-tel-aviv

On October 4 1993, Madonna performed The Girlie Show in Israel, despite protests by Jewish groups to cancel her show.  The sold-out concert was performed at Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv, in front of 80,000 adoring fans.

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