(Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
By Lee Saunders
Last Updated 7/6/2016 at 7:00 AM
Tel Aviv: The Israeli stock market took a battering this week, feeling the full effects of one man’s ruthless ambition. Not David Cameron or Boris Johnson and ‘Brexit‘ but ‘Bentry,’ the long-feared arrival in Israel of ‘singer’ Barry Manilow.
As news filtered through that the 74-year-old ‘Copacabana’ singer from New York had printed his Easyjet boarding pass, shares on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange coincidentally plummeted 45% and the Shekel lost a further 20%. Despite selling 80 million albums worldwide, it is Manilow’s first ever visit to Israel, as part of his ‘Goodbye’ world tour that feels like it’s been going on since the 80’s. “No vacancy” signs were put up in all beachfront hotels.
Although Manilow’s concert sold out, inflating his 401K pension and putting a severe dent in the local housing market, Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon immediately encouraged investors not to panic, warning that Barry was here only for one day and would not go anywhere outside of the Yad Eliyahu arena in Tel Aviv.
Unconvinced locals were seen fleeing north with traffic reports predicting heavy congestion as families rushed to avoid hearing ‘Looks like we made it.’ The 45,000 stray cats of the city were also not taking any chances, taking the extreme measure of boarding buses to Ramat Gan.
Having set up a 24-hour Situation Room to keep tabs on Britain’s stunning decision to leave Europe, Kahlon admitted he was relieved as he has adapted the room into ‘Operation Mute-the-Man’. He shelved discussions over the introduction of Hebrew as a European Union official language in a post-Brexit world, as well as Sarah Netanyahu’s application for more credit cards.
Instead, Kahlon brought in extra Mossad agents to ensure that Manilow would not go more than 50 meters outside the stadium. “This is by far the national security priority at the moment. After the two-hour crisis, Manilow will be immediately deported back to the US without a European stopover. They have suffered enough this week. He may ‘write the songs’ but I call the shots.”
Although quietish in recent years, Manilow came out and married his long-term partner in 2014, adapting and singing one of his own songs at the Chuppa, changing his irritating infectious hit ‘Mandy‘ to ‘Dandy‘. I guess music and passion weren’t always the fashion…