Leonard Cohen sells out Israel date
Concert doubling as a peace benefitJERUSALEM – Tickets for a Leonard Cohen concert to benefit Palestinian and Israeli peace groups sold out in less than a day, an Israeli ticket agent said Sunday.
The 47,000 tickets for the Sept. 24 concert at a stadium near Tel Aviv went on sale at 8:30 Saturday evening, and by Sunday afternoon they were all gone, ticket agent Avi Messing told Israel's Channel 2 TV.
"All of Israel is coming to watch Leonard Cohen. It's really great," Messing said.
Prices ranged from $90 to $315.
Cohen entertained Israeli troops during the 1973 Mideast war and last performed in Israel in 1975.
Adding Israel to his current world tour brought complaints from Palestinian sympathizers, and British fans posted a plea on the social networking site Facebook asking him to cancel the date in response to Israel's military campaign in the Gaza Strip in December and January.
Cohen's manager, Robert Kory, said the singer instead decided to make the concert a fundraiser for Palestinian and Israeli groups working for reconciliation.
Proceeds will be channeled into a special charitable fund in partnership with London-based human rights organization Amnesty International, Kory said.
Initial beneficiaries include a peace group made up of the parents of Israelis and Palestinians killed in the conflict called the Parents Circle-Family Forum.
Others are a children's health program run by the Peres Center for Peace in Tel Aviv, an organization that brings together Israeli army veterans and former Palestinian fighters and a center for special needs children in the West Bank city of Ramallah.