J-Lo Made Israel’s Summer Sizzle Some More
By David E. Kaplan
If Helen of Troy is mythically remembered as “The face that launched 1000 ships”, then Jennifer Lopez’s short stint in Israel boasts an even more impressive outreach.
As Ynetnews.com reported:
“A thousand ambassadors would not have been able to improve Israel’s image in the eyes of the world the way Jennifer Lopez, who has over 100 million followers on social media, has done during her five day visit to the Holy Land as part of her concert tour.”
The ‘contours’ of Israel’s strategic thinking were instantly outmatched by Jennifer Lopez’s ‘contours’, as the “slayer of red carpets” disembarked from her El Al flight wearing a leopard-print crop top and matching leggings. She was happy to be in Israel – her first visit – and wanted the world to know it. Unlike other artists of J-Lo’s stature, she didn’t make it hard for photographers, or media in general, to get a hold of her.
And get a hold of her, Israelis did.
The Bronx-born actress, singer, dancer, fashion designer, producer and businesswoman who turned 50 on July 24, began her international “It’s My Party” tour on August 1 in Tel Aviv. And what an open-air party it turned out to be in Yarkon Park – nearly 60,000 fans!
Earlier, Lopez had intimately shared on Instagram her feelings towards her fiancé – former baseball star Alex Rodriguez, known as A-Rod – with a heartfelt caption:
“… you are one of a kind, my hurricane…”
This would also describe J-Lo on stage at Yarkon Park – “one of a kind” and “hurricane”.
Experiencing a Lopez concert is extraordinary. Each number comes with its own theatrical act with riveting choreographed dances, props of all imagination and stunning costumes. This mother of two was in and out of costumes throughout her 90-minute performance that ranged from a one-legged body suit for the opener “Medicine” to a shocking red salsa-style gown in honor of the late Selena Quintanilla (for which Lopez starred in the 1997 biopic Selena) and then to glimmering gold heeled boots that ran up the thigh, to a final electric green bodysuit.
And that didn’t even cover it all. In fact, the less ‘covered’, the more welcomed! Cracking jokes on stage, she teased that her one-legged jumper only showed off part of her bottom.
Actually, getting to the “bottom” of it, J-Lo was making a statement.
While efforts were made to sabotage her tour to Israel – nothing too unusual – she would have none of it. Her manager, Benny Medina, assertively expressed that made a headline in one newspaper:
“There Was Nothing That Was Gonna Stop Us from Being in Israel”.
Despite social media appeals from BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions) activists to cancel her “It’s My Party” tour to Tel Aviv, Medina told Israel’s Channel 12, “Nothing was going to stop” Jennifer Lopez’s party in Israel.
BDS’s failed fiendish efforts included a July the 5th letter to Lopez urging the singer to boycott Israel arguing:
“Tel Aviv, where you are about to perform, is used as a tool for marketing the State of Israel as a ‘cool’ and ‘cultured’ democracy, while hiding a brutal history of colonisation, even that of the city itself.”
Like foul laundry that it was, it didn’t wash!
Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters frequently pressures artists to not perform in Israel and to boycott the Jewish state. Experiencing declining success, such efforts with J-Lo also proved “water off a duck’s back!
Only a few months earlier, David Draiman, frontman for the heavy metal band Disturbed, said in a May 30 Facebook video on the band’s fan page:
“The very notion that Waters and the rest of his Nazi comrades decide that this is the way to go ahead and foster change is absolute lunacy and idiocy. It makes no sense whatsoever. It’s only based on hatred of a culture and of a people in a society that has been demonized unjustifiably since the beginning of time.”
To easy understand J-Lo’s position, is to have read an earlier interview when she asserted:
“I have no patience for anything that’s not real. Just no bulls–t.”
“We feel you, girl,” replied the interviewer, “ain’t nobody got time for that!”
And if Israeli fans thought they couldn’t love J-Lo any more than they already did, the singer gave every reason to love her more.
She told the Tel Aviv crowd she loved them multiple times and even had an upfront on-stage whisper with a fan translated in Hebrew for all to hear. Fans screamed in delight.
Her message for the night resonated:
“You are capable of accomplishing anything you want, so long as you believe.”
Israel is a country of believers, but its people are also family-oriented and so J-Lo connected even more with her audience when she turned the concert into a “family affair”.
Lopez’s fiancée Alex Rodriguez who was in the crowd appeared on the big screen during the event; Lopez’s daughter, Emme, made an on-stage appearance singing a brief duet with her mother and her 11-year-old twin – who appeared bashful at first – hit a couple of impressive notes to show she too has the Making of her Mom.
The Day After
The next day, after wowing 57,000 fans in Tel Aviv, J-Lo, A-Rod and their kids visited Jerusalem’s Western Wall. It was Friday and bustling with people. A video posted on social media showed the singer amongst the jostling crowd, touching the stones at the holy site and whispering in the ears of her children.
Meanwhile, Rodriguez kept his social media followers up to date.
In a clip posted to Instagram the previous day, A-Rod showed JLo and himself looking around at the Mediterranean from the balcony of their Tel Aviv hotel room. The clip is embellished with a heart at the top and the words, “The mother land Israel” next to an Israeli flag and exclamation points, then the words:
“First time I’m here. I’m in love!! #energyoffthecharts!!”
The following day the celebrated couple’s message from the Western Wall to their millions of followers around the world:
“Jerusalem, you are unforgettable. What a perfect finale to our first trip to this beautiful land.”
Moscow On The Yarkon
J-Lo has come and gone. Well not quite. She has come but she not quite gone for she has left an endearing and enduring message of love and understanding.
But not only, for she has taken some of ‘lively’ Israel with her!
So impressed was J-Lo with Israeli singer Maor Rayri’s performance during her opening act in Tel Aviv, she invited him to perform as part of her upcoming Moscow concert. The Israeli singer – known as ADL – recently gained world-wide attention after he performed with American rapper Snoop Dogg and Columbian singer Maluma (Juan Arias).
She Came, She Saw, She Conquered taking away some Israeli spoils.
Good luck to her.
Happy Birthday J-Lo.