Simon Cowell has reportedly withdrawn from the jets to Israel to participate in their version of The X Factor due to the violence in Gaza.
According to jewish news, the music industry titan, 61, has withdrawn from the panel for The X Factor Israel after expressing “legitimate concerns” about traveling there.
The current outbreak of violence in the Gaza Strip began last month in Jerusalem, where Israeli police brutality during Ramadan and the threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinian families by Jewish settlers sparked protests and clashes with police.
‘Legitimate concerns’: Simon Cowell has reportedly withdrawn from the jets to Israel to participate in their version of The X Factor due to the violence in Gaza
The X Factor production company, Reshet, said Simon withdrew “for his own reasons” and that he was “bitterly disappointed” by the decision.
A source added: “Simon isn’t going to Israel anyway. I know it’s already been announced that he was one of the judges, but for a number of reasons, he just can’t be there in Israel to film the show right now.
“Of course he is bitterly disappointed, but it was a decision he had to make.”
A representative for Simon declined to comment.
Disturbingly, the current outbreak of violence in the Gaza Strip began in Jerusalem last month, where Israeli police brutality during Ramadan and the threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinian families by Jewish settlers sparked protests and clashes with police.
A source added: “Simon isn’t going to Israel anyway. I know it’s already been announced that he was one of the judges, but for a number of reasons he just can’t be in Israel to film the show right now.”
The show had already been postponed due to the pandemic, which was originally intended to begin production in late 2020.
Simon would be a jury member, alongside Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai 2018 and singers Aviv Geffen, Margalit Tzanani, Miri Mesika and Ran Danker.
“I can hardly wait to see what the Israelis have to offer,” was Simon’s comment when he was due to appear on the show for the first time.
Still, it appears he will not participate at all, as the violent clashes between Arabs and Jews in Israel have resulted in horrific scenes not seen in more than two decades.
Conflict: The violent clashes between Arabs and Jews in Israel have led to horrific scenes not seen in more than two decades
A focal point of clashes was the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, built on a hilltop revered by Jews and Muslims.
Israel considers Jerusalem in its entirety its capital, while the Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state.
Simon reportedly has his hands full with other projects in the meantime as he’s said to be working on a new talent show with plans to air it on one of ITV’s ‘rival channels’.
The mogul is currently “weighing his options” and is even considering bringing his new show to a streaming platform like Netflix rather than airing it on a terrestrial channel.
The sun reports that “Simon told his friends he’s tired of competitors trying to outdo the brand, so he decided to do it himself.”
Violence: Israel views Jerusalem as its entire capital, while Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state
A source told the paper: ‘Simon is constantly thinking creatively about new ideas and shows, innovating and evolving all the time. He has sworn his next show will be bigger and better than BGT.”
They added: “He is weighing his options. Simon has a big vision and people like Netflix have hundreds of millions in their coffers to help make it happen.”
Simon recently returned to the judges on America’s Got Talent after breaking his back in a horrific bicycle accident.
The father of one had to have a six-hour surgery after the crash to have a rod inserted.
At least he did well enough after the accident to share a short message on his social media accounts.
“One piece of advice… If you’re buying an electric trail bike, read the owner’s manual before riding it for the first time,” he wrote ominously.
‘I broke part of my back. Thank you everyone for your sweet messages. And a big thank you to all the nurses and doctors. Some of the nicest people I’ve ever met.’
Simon was with his girlfriend Lauren, their son Eric and her son from a previous relationship at the time of the accident, according to ABC News.
Due to his injuries, the record executive had to miss the return of his series America’s Got Talent.
MIA: Due to his injuries, the record executive had to miss the return of his America’s Got Talent series, but has since returned to the show
In October, The Sun reported that Simon had taken a turn that would significantly delay his recovery.
He developed complications from surgery to fuse two vertebrae, usually requiring him to remain in bed for six months.
At the time, it was reported that he was on heavy painkillers and was too sick to even record short promos for America’s Got Talent from home.
However, he was still able to walk a bit through his own yard and do some light physical therapy in a swimming pool.
Serious injury: Simon crashed with a new e-bike in the courtyard of his house in August and broke his back, leaving him bedridden for months. He announced the crash on Instagram
But in February of this year, Simon said he was doing significantly better and appeared to be in good spirits.
“The first four weeks were the hardest,” he recalled to ET that month. ‘Because you feel a little helpless, and it was the first time in my life that I felt helpless. Then you’re bored and frustrated, and I was in so much pain, if I’m honest.’
As he described it, the pain miraculously disappeared weeks after recovery.
“Just like the doctor said, you’ve reached seven or eight weeks, and it’s like it never happened. I mean, literally like that, so there were a lot of positives,” he continued.
Sit Out: At the time, it was reported that he was on heavy painkillers and was too sick to even record short promos for America’s Got Talent from home