Yaffa Yarkoni, a controversial Israeli singer who performed for the military before later becoming a fierce critic of the army’s treatment of Palestinians, has died at the age of 86. She had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for a number of years.
Well-known for her wartime songs, Yaffa Yarkoni caused outrage in 2002 when she spoke out to slam the military for their use of force against Palestinians. The outburst led to death threats, and a high-profile gala tribute planned in her honour was swiftly cancelled.
Yaffa Yarkoni was particularly criticised for linking the Holocaust to the Israeli army’s treatment of Palestinians. She asked how a nation that lived through the Second World War’s atrocities could treat Palestinians in such a way.