by Lee Harpin
New Morrissey song 'Israel' openly takes critics of the Jewish state to task - while a second song on his new album makes reference to a Holocaust related theatre production
Pop icon Morrissey has accused those who "rain abuse" on Israel of doing so because they are "jealous" of the country.
In the lyrics of his new song entitled Israel the former Smiths frontman also accuses unnamed enemies of wanting to instil their own “dark sky” on the Jewish state.
The near six-minute long pro-Zionist ballad is the closing track on Morrissey's new album Low In High School.
In typically hard-hitting fashion, the singer, who has regularly performed concerts in Tel Aviv, sings: “In other climes they bitch and whine/Just because you are not like them - Israel, Israel".
Referencing Israel’s critics, he adds: “And they who rain abuse upon you – they are jealous of you as well”.
Elsewhere in the song Morrissey appears to take issue with non-Jewish religious-based criticism of Israel, referring to "virgin priests”, perhaps a nod to his own uncomfortable Catholic upbringing.
Morrissey also attempts to avoid accusations of becoming an apologist for excessive Israeli military actions, suggesting he "can't answer" for army matters.
Israel is not the only track in which Morrissey deals with Jewish-related themes on the new album.
On a song called The Girl From Tel Aviv Who Wouldn't Kneel, the star pays homage to the theatrical production of the same name based on the diaries of Etty Hillesum, who was murdered in Auschwitz in 1943.
Morrissey’s positive stance on Israel stretches back over a decade –he once appeared on stage in Tel Aviv draped in an Israeli flag.
In 2008 he ignored calls by BDS campaigners to pull out of a concert there and ended a show saying: “God bless Israel”. He also appeared in a video with the word “Israel” tattooed on his forearm in Hebrew.
In 2012 Morrissey was given a key to the city of Tel Aviv by Mayor Ron Huldai . "I have become a small face of Tel Aviv. I will be very happy to represent with integrity and loyalty,” the singer said.
He also once attacked political critics for blaming the entire population of Israel for the election of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
But Morrissey has also drawn criticism for seemingly adopting chauvinistic views of non-white cultures in recent years.
His new album, which is his first since 2014, is out on November 17.