|Concert goers and Brightonians faced a clear call to boycott Israeli Apartheid Dancers|
|EDL's Union Jack alongside fellow bigots|
|The Zionist Star of David - the only legal flag bar the swastika in Nazi Germany - was surrounded by an anti-racist messsage|
|EDL & Zionists - united in bigotry and hate|
|A Loud & Clear Message - Boycott Batsheva|
|2 new Zionists obsessed with death whilst chanting 'shalom'!|
|Christian Fundies Experiment with Cameras|
One Concert Cancelled, the Other Disrupted as Public Stays AwayPerhaps the most moving and visible display of our success in persuading people to boycott Batsheva was when a woman, with a child aged about 10, came up to the picket and said that she couldn’t in all conscience go in and watch a concert that was seen to be in support of the ongoing occupation and terrorisation of the Palestinian. She later obtained a refund.
Other examples were the cars who stopped to honk their support of the Palestinian demonstration. The Zionists don't seem to get the fact that public support for their murderous enterprise is at an all-time low.
Inside the concert hall was just over ½ full and despite elaborate security precautions, there were 4 disruptions of the concert. As one witness said, the dancers seemed anxious as to when the next disruption would occur and never gained their rhythm. Perhaps that is understandable.
Outside there was a large pro-Palestinian contingent consisting of Palestinians and their British supporters. The supporters of Israel right or wrong consisted of the usual eclectic mixture of die-hard Jewish Zionists and Christian Fundamentalists and a couple of fascist (EDL) supporters. Quite a combination!
The (Jewish) Zionists seem to find it difficult to understand that there are many Jews who oppose racism – be it anti-Semitism directed at Jews or Jewish racism directed at Palestinians. One particular woman seemed obssessed with the idea that I might not have anyone to say kaddish (the Jewish prayer for the dead!) when I pass away, not seeming to understand that as an atheist I might not want a religious service anyway! However it is not the petty nationalists who are remembered but the Jewish heretics and anti-fascists such as Hanna Arendt, Spinoza, Marek Edelman and Freud. I know whose company I’d rather keep!
A special mention should be made for the Christian Zionists who were somewhat more vociferous than their Jewish counterparts. They seem determined to ensure that as many Jews as possible ‘return’ to the holy land in order that Revelations can be fulfilled and the vast majority devoured in the flames of Armageddon before the Elect float to heaven in the Rapture! What with harassing women seeking an abortion to portraying gays as uniquely evil, they certainly have their work cut out when it comes to being full-time bigots.
As the Press Release below states, about 70 people were on the Palestinian picket and the numbers increased as the night wore on whereas the Zionists either went inside or drifted away.
On a personal level I had a long discussion with a young Israeli woman who thought that politics and culture did not mix. When I put it to her that the same was said about the German Philharmonic Orchestra in the 1930’s and their famous conductor, Wilhelm Furtwangler and of course that the same argument was made in respect of the cultural and sporting boycott of South African apartheid she was less sure.
Culture does not exist in a vacuum but is a product of the society from which it originates, which is why the Israeli government sponsors the Brand Israel image and funds tours like those of Batsheva. Its problem is that in so doing they are actually contributing to the cultural isolation of Israel, which isn’t hard to do given that the present government includes open fascists and racists, like Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in it.
Ironically, despite their attempts to ingratiate themselves with Zionism, the majority strand of religious Zionism and Orthodoxy has nothing but contempt for Christianity. This is most evident in the actions of Michael Ben Ari, a member of the governing coalition, who on receipt of a copy of the New Testament promptly ripped it up and threw it in a trash can, stating that:
‘“This abominable book (the New Testament) galvanized the murder of millions of Jews during the Inquisition and during auto da fe instances,” Ben Ari said adding that “Sending the book to MK's is a provocation. There is no doubt that this book and all it represents belongs in the garbage can of history.”But Ben Ari’s actions are in a long line of such attacks, not only on Palestinian Christians but even on Zionism’s Fundamentalist Christian supporters. Examples include ‘Orthodox Jewish youths burn New Testaments in Or Yehuda’ and a bomb attack on one Christian Zionist family living on a settlement.
Last year a Christ at the Checkpoint Conference was held in Bethlehem, a town that was 70% Christian before the Israeli occupation. It is often the villages of Christian Palestinians which have been at the forefront of opposition to Zionist colonisation, such as Bi’ilin. As Stephen Sizer, an Anglican vicar under attack by the Zionist movement in this country explained:
“The Spanish used the church to suppress the Incas and the other people in Latin America, the British used the Bible to justify the colonisation of East Africa and Asia. In South Africa the Dutch Reform Church used the Bible to justify why the blacks were inferior to the whites.”And of course when it comes to anti-Semitism, Christian Fundamentalists - the backbone of segregation and the KKK - are no slouches either. Glenn Beck, ex-Fox News TV Presenter so indulged himself in portraying Jews as the cause of the financial crisis, using every trope and stereotype in the book, including an attack on George Soros, a childhood survivor of the Hungarian holocaust, as being a collaborator with the Nazis, that even the avidly pro-Zionist Anti-Defamation League launched an attack on him. None of which stopped the Knesset from conferring its most prestigious honour on him, allowing him to address them in session.
Press Release Friday 9th November 2012
Disruption of Israeli state funded Batsheva Dance performance : Brighton DomeFriday 9 November
There have been four disruptions of the Batsheva Dance Ensemble's performance at Brighton Dome tonight. Over 70 people protested against the dance performance outside the venue while several people purchased tickets and protested inside the performance.
Soon after the performance began shouts of 'free Palestine' and 'end the occupation' rang out inside the Dome. The performance was repeatedly disrupted by a total of four pairs of demonstrators.
The demonstrators are responding to a call from the people of Palestine for a campaign of 'boycott, divestment and sanctions' similar to the boycott campaign waged against apartheid South Africa.
The demonstration included many Jewish people who oppose Israel’s policies.
The demonstrators informed attenders at the performance that Israel’s Batsheva dance company is financed by the Israeli state, invested in by Israeli arms companies and the racist Jewish national fund which works openly to dispossess Palestinians and replace them with Jewish immigrants.
One of the two planned performances of this company has been cancelled, and Friday’s performance will be subject to special security arrangements.
Andrew Comben, the Dome Director, has appealed to ‘artistic freedom’ to justify the Batsheva appearance, but the demonstrators argue this is an empty defence in light of the oppression and war crimes faced by the Palestinians. The apartheid wall, checkpoints and military attacks leave them no freedom to perform and travel as Israeli companies do.
Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, has stated that ‘Constituents have raised concerns with me about forthcoming performances by the dance group Batsheva and I’ve passed those on to Brighton Dome – asking whether they took the cultural boycott into consideration when making decisions about events’.
The Brighton demonstration is one of a series taking place at Batsheva performances around the country – including Edinburgh, Bradford, Salford, Leicester, London and Plymouth. These local demonstrations are part of a wider and growing ‘Don’t Dance with Israeli Apartheid’ campaign which faced Batsheva during its North American tour earlier this year, and will surely face it during its future tours.
For information about the Don’t Dance with Israeli Apartheid campaign see
For information about the Edinburgh demonstrations see
Full statement by Caroline Lucas MP:
As a long standing campaigner for peace, justice and freedom in Palestine, I am committed to raising awareness of ongoing human rights abuses against the Palestinians and the Israeli state’s continued breaching of international law. Israel’s sponsorship of arts and cultural events is one deliberate way in which it is actively seeking to repair the reputational damage inflicted by its treatment of Palestinians, so Palestinian civil society has called for a full cultural boycott of all cultural performers and exhibitors that are institutionally linked to the Israeli state. The arts can play a role in helping to build bridges between the two communities but their potential to act as a forum for promoting peace and understanding is being undermined by the restrictions placed on Palestinian artists and performers who want to participate in tours or festivals abroad, for example. For this reason, I believe cultural boycotts should be applied on a case by case basis.
Constituents have raised concerns with me about forthcoming performances by the dance group Batsheva and I’ve passed those on to Brighton Dome – asking whether they took the cultural boycott into consideration when making decisions about events.
For further information and comment phone
(0044) 7778625910 or