Egyptian singer Shaaban Abdel Rahim, known as Chaaboula, plans to open his concert with his infamous song “I Hate Israel” at Morocco’s Mawazine world music festival, reports The Algemeiner. The festival features international stars Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake, Ricky Martin and Kool and the Gang.
Rahim will be wearing the colors of the Egyptian flag and will also sing his ode to former Egyptian defense minister and current presidential candidate Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, “We Love Sisi.”
The festival, one of the largest in the world, is expected to draw 2.5 million attendees over nine days and a hundred concerts.
In 2008, Rahim lost a contract to be featured in a McDonald’s commercial for the McFalafel after human rights groups, including the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee, alerted the company to his “I Hate Israel” song, which they accused of inciting hate against Israel and Jews.
Rahim had another hit song, Hey Arab Leaders, in which he accused the U.S. and Israel of masterminding the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.
On Sunday, Rabbi Abraham Cooper of The Simon Wiesenthal Center, said that he hoped the other international musicians at the festival used their stage time to promote peace, rather than hatred.
“Remember that Alicia Keys delivered a message of peace last summer in Tel Aviv, despite the BDSers hypocritical hysteria,” Rabbi Cooper said referring to anti-Israel ‘boycott, divestment and sanctions’ activists who tried to pressure Keys to cancel her performance. “I hope she and the other western talent urge the organizers to make the festival a hate-free zone and that they counter the anti-Israel hate with their music.”
As for Chaaboula, Cooper said he “may want to update his tired lyrics.”
“He writes one of the reasons he hates Israel is because of the Golan,” Cooper said. “Has he checked with the steady stream of severely injured Syrians coming to the Golan to Israel’s ‘no questions asked’ hospital who hate Assad, not the Israeli medics saving their lives?”