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First pictures: Israel Philharmonic is picketed outside Carnegie Hall

About 60 demonstrators turned out last night to protest against the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert at Carnegie Hall. They were not allowed to approach the hall and chanted slogans from across the road. The placard reads ‘Don’t harmonize with Israeli apartheid’.

 photo (c) Slipped Disc

Here’s another picture, from Brian Wise, who reports that the demonstrators were from an org called Adalah NY.

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  1. How dare those damned Israelis insist on being allowed to keep, y’know, breathing?!

    Claims of “apartheid” fail the logic test when they come crashing up against the fact that there are over 1 million Arab citizens of Israel, with full voting rights. There are Arab members of the Knesset and Arabs have held, and continue to hold, high-ranking cabinet posts and positions of commend in the military.

    • Make that, “positions of command,” (although they are, indeed, commendable).

      It’s very early in the morning here.

      • This might be of some interest for you:

        But, hey, it is just this antisemite piece of trash of a newspaper.

        More seriously, I think that it is quite futile to argue about words (call it apartheid, discriminatory measures, and so and so). There are of course many differences with the South-African regime. But one cannot deny that Arab Israelis are marginalized in the public and political scene, and more than anything, that Palestinians are subject to discriminatory measures, which impede the growth of the economy, but also of the desire for peace. Unfortunately.

        PS I would like you to give me the name of one arab israeli in a position of command in the millitary. Just one name.

        • The survey reflects public opinion in Israel, not actual policies. Do the same survey in your country, replace “Arabs” by the name of the largest visible minority there (in my country, Germany, it would be “Turks”), and you will get more or less the same results. Did anyone call for boycotting German orchestras beacause there is racism in Germany?

        • “WOULD support”.

          As in, “IF it were the case.”

          …And even that attitude would largely change if the terrorist attacks stopped.

          • I reply both to Simon and to Jeffrey .

            To Simon : I am totally AGAINST boycotting and even more to disrupting concerts. This is both stupid and counterproductive. This answers your final question. Re your comparison with Germany (or, any European country) : there is a difference between ordinary racism (which of course I condemn) and institutionalized discrimination. A huge difference.

            To Jeffrey : If you read the article, you’ll see that there are two parts in the survey: a “normative” part (would you be in favor of apartheid measures ?) and, more interestingly, a “descriptive” part (do you think there is some kind of apartheid in Israel?). Majority of yes in both cases.

            To both : What was my point with this survey? It was to point out Jeffrey’s massive nonsequitur : you can talk of “apartheid” (though misleading this label may be) about Israel without arguing that “those damned Israelis should not be allowed to keep, y’know, breathing?!” Talking of apartheid is not taboo in Israel; why should it be in the rest of the world ?

            PS : Still wating for the name of that Arab-Israeli high-rank officer in Tsahal.

          • To Mathieu: OK, we both agree inopposing boycotts. And indeed, as you say, there is a difference between ordinary racism and institutionalized discrimination. But the article you linked to is not about actual institutionalized disrimination, but about the people’s minds who would support (so far hypothetic) institutionalized discrimination – so we are just talking about ordinary racism, which exists everywhere in the western world.

  2. Michael Hurshell says:

    I wonder what would happen if protesters outside a hall where the Qatar Philharmonic was playing hoisted a banner with the words “Stop supporting the firing of rockets on Israeli villages”… Just a thought.

  3. Trevor Bowes says:

    What annoys me about this and the Royal Albert Hall incident is that the Israeli phil is just an ensemble of musicians who happen to be based in Israel. They do not represent a political ideology or any government. The last time I heard them play, their entire audience booed as the minister of foreign affairs was ushered in. The right-wing ideologues are not the musicians or their supporters. Should people protest every time artists or athletes etc appear from Iran or north Korea or (insert rogue country here) just because we dislike the government under whom they are forced to live? In my opinion, no way!

  4. ComposerG says:

    Perhaps people should protest every time an American orchestra does a concert outside of USA…

  5. Arnold Handelman says:

    There are Arab MK’s, who are allowed to sit in Parliament even though they side with an praise Iran. Some are cabinet ministers. There is a Palestinian member of Israel’s respected Supreme Court. Palestinians comprise important staff members of Israeli hospitals.Some apartheid. How many Jews are there in Saudi Arabia.
    It and several other Muslim countries are Juden-frei. No Jews. All expelled, or murdered. Assets confiscated.
    So I guess those countries aren’t apartheid states–there’s no religious minority tolerated, therefore none to treat as second class citizens. I believe that Israel has been the victim of the worst most blatant upside down hypocrisy in the history of nations.

  6. In Britain the pro-Palestinian campaigners target Israeli artists and say they have a right to demonstrate against Israel which, they believe, includes causing disruption inside the venue. Concert goers say protest all you want outside the hall but don’t disrupt our evenings entertainment which we have paid good money. The police could detain the yobs who disrupt concerts under the Public Order Act but refuse to do so. Until this happens cultural vandalism is set to continue.

  7. Michael Endres says:

    I totally disagree with the protestors,who seem remarkably one eyed ( or shall we say blind ? ) and I generally find targeting music performances appalling. I still vividly remember Lazar Berman being boycotted in the 80s there because of Afghanistan,the whole audience had to go through metal detectors,but the concert took place and it was a great recital ! But here comes a big BUT: I cannot see why these protestors should not be allowed to voice their opinion as long as they are kept at distance and nobody who wants to go to the performance is hindered to do so. Freedom of opinion means that we have to tolerate the other view,not just endorsing our own.

  8. Joan Sutherland says:

    I wonder if they also protest the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra begun by Daniel Barenboim. It’s a youth orchestra based in Seville, Spain, consisting of musicians from countries in the Middle East, of Egyptian, Iranian, Israeli, Jordanian, Lebanese, Palestinian, Syrian and Spanish background. Barenboim says “I’m trying to create a platform where the two sides can disagree and not resort to knives.” It’s not a protest but a creation of life.

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