Pop Culture

No Israel concert for Madonna

Madonna has crossed Israel off her tour list. Seems the country is too precarious — even for the risk-taking performer.

Madonna made international headlines in March when it was revealed that she had tentatively made plans to give a concert in the war-torn country. Those plans have been cancelled.

“I know Madonna really wanted to go there but perhaps the political climate has been a bit difficult to plan such a huge undertaking in that area,” spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg told The Scoop. “I think her management decided that having the routing include other European markets would make more sense.”

But one source believes that Madonna may be ditching Israel for slightly more complicated reasons. “Kabbalah, as it’s practiced by Madonna, is held in great scorn by rabbinical leaders in Israel,” says cult expert Rick Ross. “People in Israel are not reticent about expressing their religious beliefs. If you’re the number one missionary in the world for that form of Kabbalah — which Madonna is — a concert there could be, shall we say, messy.”

Meanwhile, Madonna has apparently been preaching her religion to two of the U.K.’s hottest celebs: Victoria “Posh Spice” and David Beckham are reportedly wearing red Kabbalah string bracelets, given to them by Madonna, though they insist they haven’t converted. “Madonna has shrewdly, in my opinion, targeted the two most influential celebrities in Britain,” says Ross. “It’s what she did with Britney Spears. Getting Victoria and David would be a huge coup for Kabbalah.”

Heat is on

John Schults / X00245
U.S. filmmaker Michael Moore poses during a photocall for his documentary film 'Fahrenheit 9/11', which is competing for the Palme d'Or at the 57th Cannes Film Festival, May 17, 2004. The film focuses on how Americans and the White House responded to the September 11 attacks and traces links between the Bush family and prominent Saudis, including the family of Osama bin Laden. REUTERS/John Schults

More heat over “911 Fahrenheit.”

Disney has agreed to sell the controversial documentary to the team that heads up Miramax, but a source says that Disney chief Michael Eisner “keeps jacking up the price, changing the terms of the deal, and making it more expensive.”

The Michael Moore film was a smash hit at Cannes, but Disney is refusing to let its subsidiary Miramax — the company that funded the film — distribute it. “Eisner said Bob and Harvey [Weinstein, who head up Miramax] could buy it and sell or distribute it, but now he’s making it very difficult,” says the source. “The whole thing could fall apart.”

“I believe they are working it out,” a Disney spokeswoman told The Scoop. “I have not heard that there is an issue from our perspective.”

A Miramax spokesman would say only: “We’re grateful that Disney is giving Bob and Harvey the chance to buy the film. We look forward to an amicable resolution in the very near future.”

Notes from all over

Jack Plunkett / AP
Director Kevin Smith answers audience questions after a screening of his new film "Jersey Girl" at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas, Sunday, March 14, 2004.(AP Photo/Jack Plunkett)

Don’t expect Kevin Smith to visit Atlanta anytime soon. The director is still steaming over how some folks in the Georgia capital criticized his movie “Jersey Girl.” “When I was there, I did a radio show where the crew was all kiss-assy, and then slammed the flick when I left town. So lame,” Smith wrote on his Web site. “Their excuse was that they can’t get confrontational with guests, lest publicists refuse to bring cool guests in anymore. How corporate and safe is that? Particularly for the typical zoo-crew that insists they’re cutting edge and counter-culture?” Smith was so irate about one Atlanta review that he called the critic a name we can’t repeat here, but it has to do with someone in the world’s oldest profession smoking crack. “So right about now, I’ve got about as much love for Atlanta as it’s [sic] patron saint, Ted Turner, has for his ex-wife, Jane Fonda.”  . . . Antonio Banderas was so overwhelmed when he saw “Shrek 2” (he plays Puss in Boots in the film), that “he ended up crying and holding hands with Justin Timberlake,” according to a BBC report.  . . . Rupert Everett says he’ll probably never get to play James Bond because Everett is gay — even though the actor says he’d play the secret agent as a straight man. Everett told DarkHorizons.com: “The Bond fans would burn down MGM if the studios got a gay actor to play James Bond.”

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