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Babs May Be Bailing, But Israel Still Has Denzel

The AP reports:

Barbra Streisand has announced that she will pull out of Israel’s 60th anniversary celebration next month. Streisand was one of the big-name guests slated to appear at the Jerusalem convention hosted by President Shimon Peres beginning May 13.

The American diva was supposed to perform a rendition of the Hebrew prayer Avinu Malkeinu, or “Our Father Our King.” But Peres’ office said Tuesday that Streisand has now announced she will not be coming.

A statement from Streisand’s Los Angeles publicist Dick Guttman said Tuesday that she was unable to attend the event in Israel due to ”personal obligations” and had informed Peres’ office two weeks ago.

”She celebrates as always the nation’s courage and purpose and flourishing democracy and is saddened that she cannot be there to do so in person,” Guttman’s statement said.

Among those scheduled to take part in the convention are Italian designer Giorgio Armani and the Academy Award winning actor Denzel Washington.

Yep. That’s right. Denzel Washington (who, incidentally, I just discovered, is not only a great actor, but also a real mensch). Back in February, Y-Net reported that Denzel Washington was going to be traveling to Israel as part of a delegation of African-American artists that is expected to meet with Israeli leaders in advance of the 60th anniversary celebrations.

Given that Israel will be celebrating its 60th sans Streisand, now is a good time as any to remember to remember her contribution to the 1978 “Stars Salute Israel” show marking the Jewish state’s 30th birthday.

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