Singer drops concert after death threats

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The Independent Online
Jerusalem (AP) - In response to death threats, the Irish pop singer Sinead O'Connor yesterday cancelled a concert in Jerusalem that was to have promoted the city as a capital for Israelis and Palestinians.

A Jewish extremist said he and his supporters prompted O'Connor to drop out, though he stopped short of saying that he had made the threats. "Due to us she is not arriving," said Itamar Ben-Gvir, an activist in the Ideological Front, an offshoot of the outlawed anti-Arab Kach movement. "We are calling the pressure we put on her ... a success," he told Israel Radio.

The politically outspoken O'Connor had cancelled part of her American tour to perform in Jerusalem. Her concert on Saturday evening was to have been the highlight of a series of events under the slogan "Sharing Jerusalem: two Capitals for Two States". The events were organised by Israeli and Palestinian women's groups.

In a statement, O'Connor said: "I cannot put in danger the lives of my two children, my musicians and my technicians, so I have decided to cancel."

The death threats were received by the Irish and British embassies in Tel Aviv. Police said they were not investigating because they had not received official complaints. However, the Irish Embassy said a complaint was made to police.

The mayor of Jerusalem, Ehud Olmert, who is opposed to sharing control of the city with the Palestinians, told Israel Radio he was delighted that O'Connor had cancelled, but he claimed the singer dropped out due to low ticket sales, a charge denied by concert organisers.

The emotional attachment of Israelis and Palestinians to Jerusalem makes the city the toughest item on the agenda for the still-unstarted talks on a permanent peace agreement.