Big acts rocking their way back to the Holy Land

jerusalem (jps) | One’s having a tough year and the others are enjoying a major comeback, but both Eminem and the members of Depeche Mode are headed to Israel.

The American rapper and British pop band will arrive next year for performances organized by Shuki Weiss, the Israeli concert promoter responsible for bringing Phil Collins to Tel Aviv last month. Specific dates and venues for the shows have not yet been announced, though both concerts are likely to draw huge and enthusiastic crowds.

In addition to Collins, Eminem and Depeche Mode will be the biggest artists to perform in Israel since the start of the intifada, when security fears prompted major musicians to steer clear of the country. Legendary rock bands the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd are also said to be considering concerts in late 2006 and summer 2007.

After nearly three decades together, Depeche Mode has returned to pop relevance. Following last year’s well-received update of the ’90s hit “Enjoy the Silence,” the band is currently riding high on the success of “Precious,” the lead single off its latest album. The song has been put in heavy rotation on Israeli radio stations and the major music video networks, and the band has announced tour dates in Europe through April, with the Israeli concert likely to be scheduled for next summer.

Eminem’s arrival is equally certain to please local fans; an online petition urging the rapper to perform in Israel received the signatures of over 2,200 ardent “Slim Shady” followers.

Discussion of a Pink Floyd concert remains tentative and follows years of false rumors about possible performances in Israel. The legendary band reunited at June’s Live 8 concert and would likely frame a concert here in the context of Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.

The Rolling Stones, who may perform in Israel in August 2006, have earned strong reviews for their latest album, “A Bigger Bang.”