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June 8, 2012

Israel Foreign Ministry lashes out at Voca People

Ynetnews.com (Israel):

The Foreign Ministry recently issued an official letter to several Israeli embassies warning them that the members of the Israeli-based vocal ensemble, Voca People, have renounced their affiliation with Israel.

In their show, the members of the a cappella octet dress in all white and don white bald wigs, white facial greasepaint and cherry-red lipstick, and claim to be a group of eight friendly aliens from the planet Voca – thus disassociating themselves from Israel.

The tension between the ministry and the vocal group broke out following a complaint made by the Israeli Consulate in Saint Petersburg, Russia ahead of the group's scheduled performance in the city, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

In a complaint letter sent to the Foreign Ministry, the consulate stated that "the group does not mention in the slightest its connection to Israel and goes as far as blatantly renouncing it."

Upon receiving the letter, the ministry expressed its surprise at the harsh claims made about the group, seeing as the two have worked together on several occasions over the past year.

The ministry quickly sent a letter to Israeli delegations abroad, clarifying the identity of the band. "In an effort to prevent any unpleasant surprises or disappointment, it's best you all know that the group does not identify itself as Israeli," said Ofra Ben-Yaakov, a Foreign Ministry official charged with cultural affairs.

Lior Halfon, a co-creator of Voca People, expressed astonishment at the recent accusations. "This is the first time I've ever heard of this," he said, but later stated that "the group is not Israeli but rather aliens from the planet Voca."

An official response made by the ensemble's management stated that "wherever the Voca People perform, foreign delegations are always welcome. We will soon be performing at the 'Israel in the Park festival' in San Francisco, a show which was planned in collaboration with the Israeli cultural center." Read more.

This is so absurd that I thought it was a parody or joke of some kind. After checking it out it turns out it did indeed happen. Israel has a bad enough p.r. problem as it is and things like this makes their foreign ministry look ridiculous.

Posted by acapnews at June 8, 2012 12:00 AM