Israel’s Science and Technology minister, Ofir Akunis, was a well-received guest of honour at a special Los Angeles event held to commemorate the first anniversary of the death of poet and singer Leonard Cohen.

Akunis’ reception at the exhibition Leonard Cohen and Judaism, held at the UCLA campus, was in marked contrast to a furious row the previous week when Princeton University’s Hillel House cancelled an appearance by Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely. Hillel blamed the cancellation on pressure from the Alliance for Jewish Progressives and BDS activists.

The UCLA exhibit and tribute was initiated by Chaim Chesler, founder of Limmud FSU, which held a major conference in San Francisco this week.

Akunis told the audience: “Leonard Cohen was very attached to Judaism and Israel, a bond that became stronger, especially after the great tragedy of the Yom Kippur War.”

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