Gad Elmaleh, a former Israeli soldier
BEIRUT- The French humorist Gad Elmaleh cancelled a tour in Lebanon after being caught in a controversy over his links with Israel
- The French humorist Gad Elmaleh cancelled a tour in Lebanon after being caught in a controversy over his links with Israel, his agent said in a statement received Sunday in Beirut.
- The case came to light this week when Web sites and Lebanese media, including the TV channel of Hezbollah, “Al Manar”, presented Elmaleh, of Moroccan origin and of Jewish faith, as a former Israeli soldier.
- The comedian had a tour from 13 to 15 July during the international festival Beiteddine (south-east of Beirut).
- “Following the various manifestations of hostility and calls for a boycott against the coming of Gad Elmaleh, it is with regret that we are forced to cancel the participation of the artist at Beiteddine festival, the 13-14 and 15 July, whereas they may endanger the safety of the artist and hinder the smooth running of shows,” says Gilbert Coullier in the statement.
- One of the festival officials, Wafa Saab, confirmed that the organizers and the artist had received numerous emails and phone calls calling for a boycott of the show.
- “We had assurances from the agent of the artist and the artist himself that these allegations were false, but some media insisted,” he added to the press.
- Tickets for three performances of Elmaleh, who had to give sold-out, will be reimbursed,” said Saab.
- Thursday, Coullier had qualified false information “Certain Lebanese media that the humorist Gad Elmaleh is a supporter of Israel.”
- He particularly denied that he belonged to the Israeli army after the publication of a photo of a man in uniform presented as Israeli French artist.
- "Gad Elmaleh has never been part of the Israeli army. It is clear that this is not Gad Elmaleh in this picture, anyone who knows a minimum the artist can see without difficulty”, stressed Mr. Coullier.
- The French singer Patrick Bruel had to cancel concerts in Lebanon in the 1990s for his support for Israel.
- Ennaharonline/ M. O.