Annie Lennox: I was wrong about Israel

By Martin Bright, March 4, 2010
Annie Lennox: objected to Tzipi Livni using her song in her campaign

Annie Lennox: objected to Tzipi Livni using her song in her campaign

Singer Annie Lennox has stepped back from comments she made about the Gaza conflict, to conclude that "both sides are right and both sides are wrong".

The Eurythmics star was speaking at the annual Names Not Numbers symposium at Portmeirion, north Wales, organised by media company Editorial Intelligence.

Although she remained critical of Cast Lead, saying "a million people in a confined space in a crowded area pounded from the air was not a good idea", she condemned Hamas rocket attacks on Sderot. She added that was not interested in taking sides and simply wanted to promote peace.

Last year she attended an anti-war rally and held a press conference with comedian Alexei Sayle and other prominent opponents of the Gaza operation. At the time, she said: "The reason I'm here today is to use my freedom of speech, my right as an individual in a free world, to encourage people to get together and protest against this means of 'conflict resolution' which will never work." She objected to the use of the Eurythmics song I Saved the World Today as part of Tzipi Livni's 2009 election campaign.

The fact that she shared a platform with Ken Livingstone and George Galloway led to condemnation within the Jewish community. Her stance was considered all the more surprising because her daughters, Lola and Tali, are half-Israeli, from her marriage to film producer Uri Fruchtman.

Lennox's latest comments were made during an interview with Stephen Sackur in front of a live audience for the BBC News Channel's Hard Talk programme to be aired next week. She was at the symposium to promote the work of her charity, Sing, which helps women and children with Aids in South Africa.

Last updated: 4:57pm, March 4 2010