To hear the young women talk about his impending arrival in Israel, one would think it was the second coming of Jesus Christ to the Holy Land.
“We are following him everywhere,” said Adi, 14, from Ganei Tikva, reports Haaretz. “I will go with him to Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, and I’ve been waiting here since eight in the morning,” she said.
Alas, the feverish anticipation is not for the Son of God, but for the Son of Canada. The one and only Justin Bieber. Ahead of his concert Thursday in Tel Aviv, the teen idol and pop star, has taken to touring the Holy Land. Two hundred or so teenage groupies and their parents have taken to touring Bieber.
They have been waiting for him in the Sheraton hotel lobby, essentially putting the hotel in shutdown mode, and following him where ever he goes, which, according to the Jewish Chronicle, will include stops at the Dead Sea, historical fortress Masada and Caesarea.
Bieber, who grew up in a devoutly Christian home, sees the trip as a dream come true. “im in the holy land and i am grateful for that. I just want to have the same personal experience that others have here,” he said via Twitter.
When Bieber requested a meet and greet with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Head of State recognized the golden PR opportunity that fell in his lap. He invited the group of children living near the Gaza border who escaped from the school bus destroyed by a Hamas rocket last week.
Nothing says influence quite like parading a pop star golden calf before a group of impressionable teenagers. Netanyahu advisors are hoping Bieber can bring awareness to the Hamas rocket fire along the Gaza strip.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing sadder that woefully out-of-touch advisors. That’s not a knock on Bieber, who is obviously one of the most popular pop stars on the planet. He’s somehow reached that kind of mercurial plane of celebrity where he will be fondly remembered by a group of girls in a decade the same way that 30-somethings remember NKOTB and Backstreet Boys.
What is unfortunate is that Bieber has someone allowed himself to become an unwitting pawn in the Israel-Palestine conflict all because he wanted to see the Holy Land of his religion and play a concert there. It’s sort of shameful that the Israeli politicians would make his visit into something more than it actually is. But such is life when the world’s got Bieber Fever.