U.S. grants visa for Israeli singer to perform at UN for International Holocaust Remembrance Day

(JTA) – Reversing its initial decline to grant a visa for the Israeli singer Amir Benayoun, the United States embassy in Israel gave him permission to enter in to time to perform at the United Nations annual ceremony for International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The U.S. embassy last week told Ynet that Benayoun was not able to convince the U.S. consul that he “has a strong connection to his country, which ensures his return to Israel after a short visit to the US.” But on Thursday reversed its decision and gave him the stamp, Ynet reported.

Benayoun is scheduled to be joined on stage at the UN in New York by singers David D’Or and Miri Mesika who will help him perform a song in Hebrew, English, and Arabic in a performance scheduled for Holocaust Remembrance Day.  The annual ceremony commemorates the liberation of Auschwitz on Jan. 27.

The song, called “The Last Survivor,” was written by Moshe Klugheft and Benayoun. A video of the song, to be screened at the UN, features several Israeli Holocaust survivors.

Benayoun reportedly presented the embassy with his official letter of invitation from the UN.  He reported has several performances scheduled for February and March in Israel, another reason that he says he will be returning.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry appealed the U.S. embassy to change its decision not to let Benayoun in, according to Ynet.

In 2015 he wrote and performed a song about a “corrupt, cruel” pet crow called Obama, for whom he wishes a swift death.


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