Israel Philharmonic Orchestra disrupted by BDS activists

Tonight’s performance in London by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra was disrupted repeatedly by solidarity activists. These activists who protested inside and outside the venue, Royal Albert Hall, were responding to a call by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI).

We, Palestinian cultural institutions, including the leading musical organizations, urge the BBC to cancel the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) concert at this year’s Proms, due to IPO’s complicity in whitewashing Israel’s persistent violations of international law and human rights. The IPO is scheduled to perform in September in London. Should the BBC fail to cancel this ill-conceived concert, we urge all people of conscience in the UK and especially those who stand for justice, freedom, equality and human rights to effectively protest this event, including by promoting a wide boycott of it, and by tapping into the impressive creative energies British supporters of Palestinian rights have always shown.

The event was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, but the broadcast was interrupted and cancelled after multiple major disruptions.

A previously unknown group “Beethovians for Boycotting Israel” posted a video apparently in support of the action.

Beethovians for Boycotting Israel perfom “Ode to Boycott”. Dedicated to all the musicians of Palestine.

The protest was covered by the BBC, The Guardian, the Los Angeles Times, The Telegraph, Reuters and AFP.




The debate in Britain is still raging. I had letters in yesterday's Independent and today's Guardian. There was also an excellent one from Gerald Kaufman MP, who pointed to the hypocrisy of the Zionists who condemn disruption of cultural events when they did exactly the same in 1974 over the issue of Soviet Jewry, when they disrupted the Bolshoi.