Madonna brought her mix of provocative music and spirituality to the Holy Land with a concert in Tel Aviv on Tuesday in front of 50,000 fans who had endured a 16-year wait since the pop icon's last gig in Israel.
Madonna is wrapping up her worldwide "Sticky & Sweet" tour with two concerts this week in a country whose place at the heart of the Mideast conflict has made it more of a magnet for diplomats than big-name performers. She was to perform again at Tel Aviv's Hayarkon Park tonight.
"I shouldn't have stayed so long away," she told the adoring crowd midway through the show.
"Every time I come here, I get so supercharged with energy," the 51-year-old entertainer said. "I truly believe that Israel is the energy center of the world. And I also believe that if we can all live together in harmony in this place, then we can live in peace all over the world."
Late Monday, the pop diva dined with Israel's moderate parliamentary opposition leader, Tzipi Livni, at Madonna's request, Livni spokesman Gil Messing said. Her main political rival, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, will receive Madonna at his Jerusalem residence on Friday.