Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Madonna tour is skipping stops in Israel

Madonna says she has canceled three Israeli stops on her "Re-Invention" tour because of violence in the region, including the killing of the leader of the militant group Hamas.

Madonna, who kicked off her worldwide tour in Los Angeles on Monday, told Access Hollywood that her manager wouldn't let her travel to Israel because of the attack.

"It's not a good idea to go there and do concerts," she told the syndicated entertainment TV show in an interview that aired Monday.

London tabloids had reported that the singer backed out of the Israeli stops, scheduled for September, after an unidentified Palestinian terror group threatened her and her children, Lourdes, 7, and Rocco, 3.

Asked by Access Hollywood if she had been threatened, she replied: "No, if I had my way, I'd go. My manager wouldn't let me."

Madonna, who practices Jewish mysticism known as Kabbalah, included provocative images in the tour, including video footage of a Palestinian boy and an Israeli boy walking arm-in-arm.

Israel's military killed the founder of Hamas, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, in March. and the group's Gaza leader, Abdul-Aziz Rantisi, in April.

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