Later this week, a jazz festival in Morocco will host a former recruit for the Israeli army, stirring controversy on the normalization of ties with Israel.
The annual Tangier jazz festival, Tanjazz, which kicks off on September 14, will feature a performance by Noam Vazana, an Israeli artist who has taken pride in serving in the Israeli military service.
Vazana will go on stage alongside Moroccan-Dutch artist Teema, who has been "building bridges" through an Arabic-Jewish musical duo project with the Israeli singer.
Teema and Vazana are set for performances on September 15 and 16, during which they will "create sounds that evoke the heritage of the two Arabic and Hebrew cultures that blend with contemporary pop and jazz," according to the festival's official website.
"By listening to these two young women singing, you instantly connect to the beauty and joy of those two ancient languages, you will become aware of the simplicity and beauty of the union," the website adds.
The website goes on to advertise for the purpose behind the collaboration, stating that the duo is "constructing bridges of understanding and tolerance."
According to her official website, Vazana's parents were both born in Morocco before emigrating to Israel in the 1950s.
"In my IDF (Israel Defense Forces) military service, I was happy to be serving as a musician in the Air Force band and later on in the IDF orchestra," she previously told the America-Israel Cultural Foundation.
Morocco closed the Israeli offices in the country and suspended relations with Israel in October 2000.
However, according to The Independent, the country makes no stipulation against the entry of people whose passports contain "evidence of previous travel to Israel or indicates Israel as your birthplace."
Teema and Vazana's Tanjazz performance comes as part of their Maktub project, through which they have been producing Arabic-Hebrew songs.
The two soprano mezzos met in Amsterdam and decided to collaborate on works that combine Hebrew and Arabic culture.
The duo has taken part in projects that encourage relationships between Palestinians and Israelis, as well as Muslims and Jews in general.
In light of the upcoming performance, Tanjazz has gone under fire for hosting Vazana, with many people calling out the festival organizers for normalizing ties with Israel by hosting a supporter of the Israeli army.
StepFeed has reached out to Teema for comment.
"Stop! This is normalization"
"Stop! This is normalization: Tanjazz festival hosts the Zionist Noam Vazana."
"Couldn't they find any other singer?"
This Facebook user wrote: "Couldn't they find any other singer in the world? Or is there a message they aim to send?
Tangier is the city of resistance. We should all take action. This is a call to all civil, student, and political groups in the city to put an end to this normalization with the Zionist entity."
"We cannot remain silent"
"#Normalization_in_Morocco The normalization of ties with the Zionist entity is a crime. We cannot remain silent nor collude with its supporters."