But this was anything but a UN Israel-bashing session. In fact, there was nothing but praise for Israel and the Jewish people. It was a concert featuring Rita, Israel's most celebrated and successful singer and her nine-piece band, only the third time that the diplomatic venue was converted into a concert hall. Rita, whose full name is Rita Yahan-Farouz, was born in Teheran and immigrated to Israel with her family when she was eight years old.
As Yitzhak Benhorin wrote in Yediot Aharonot's Ynetnews.com,
Under the banner, "Tunes for peace," the Israeli singer performed at the UN headquarters in New York in the presence of the UN secretary-general, the General Assembly president, ambassadors, diplomats and Jewish community leaders. An Iranian television crew was also spotted in the auditorium.
The idea, according to the concert's organizers, led by Israel Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor, is to "convey a message of multiculturalism, harmony and peace – the foundations of the United Nations organization." Rita sang on stage in Hebrew, English and Farsi, languages which she said "represent ancient civilizations."
The General Assembly hall was packed. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed Rita and the audience cheered, whistled and danced in the aisles.This is probably the longest video we have ever posted, running about an hour and 20 minutes. We don't expect everyone to watch the entire show, but it's here in case you want to. If you're rushed for time, we suggest watching the first fifteen minutes of speeches praising Israel, and skipping ahead to the one hour mark, when the Persian singing and dancing starts to get wild, and to the 1:10 mark, when Rita launches into one of her most popular songs in Hebrew, The Legend of the Sun and the Moon.
(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS: THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS. YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)