LA Activists to protest Israel Philharmonic

Local Peace and Human Rights Group to Hold Silent Candlelight Vigils Outside the Israel Philharmonic Concerts at Disney Hall

Monday, Feb. 5th, and Tuesday, Feb. 6th in Downtown LA

Women in Black-LA Join Launch of International Campaign
Calling for Sanctions and Cultural Boycott to End Israeli Apartheid in Palestine
Inspired by Worldwide Movement That Helped End Apartheid in South Africa

WHAT: Silent Candlelight Vigil to Support a Boycott of the
Israel Philharmonic and an End to Israeli Apartheid in Palestine

WHEN: Monday, February 5th - 6:30 to 8:00 PM
Tuesday, February 6th - 6:30 to 8:00 PM

WHERE: Outside the Disney Hall
1st Street & Grand, Downtown LA

WHY: International and Palestinian human rights leaders have asked supporters worldwide to begin cultural and economic boycotts, along with divestment and sanction campaigns to end Israel’s Occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem and to end Israeli Apartheid in Palestine.

This effort is modeled after the successful worldwide boycott and divestment campaign that helped end Apartheid in South Africa.

When they learned that the Israel Philharmonic would be stopping at Disney Hall while on their U.S. tour, Women in Black-LA joined the international campaign by launching their call for a Boycott of the orchestra, after first writing a letter to the Israel Philharmonic asking them to publicly oppose the occupation.

Nearly 1,000 groups and prominent individuals, from former government officials to artists and activists, all over the world, signed the letter.

One of the signers, Silvia Tennebaum, step-daughter of Israel Philharmonic co-founder, William Steinberg, wrote: “My hope is that the orchestra will remember the suffering endured by the Jews in Germany and Eastern Europe and, in their memory, not implicitly support an occupation that seeks to strangle and displace a whole people.”

EXCERPT from letter to the Israel Philharmonic from WIB-LA:

“Imagine that the Israel Philharmonic’s denouncement of the Occupation and call for peace and justice will have a huge positive ripple effect on Israeli society. Imagine a future where Israelis and Palestinians share the resources of their land with respect and appreciation for each other’s humanity, cultures and needs. Maybe it’s the artists and musicians who will finally bring peaceand justice to Israel, Palestine and the region.”

“When we didn’t hear from the Israel Philharmonic,” said Carol Smith, a member of WIB-LA and the National Lawyers’ Guild Los Angeles Chapter. “We wrote to the management of the L.A. Philharmonic asking them to cancel the performance or make an announcement before each performance, calling for an end to the occupation.”

“Now we are taking our protest to the audience at Disney Hall. Cultural and sports boycotts were a crucial part of the worldwide campaign that finally ended Apartheid in South Africa, and we call for a similar boycott to end Israeli Apartheid.”

“President Carter made it possible for us to go public with the comparison to Apartheid,” said WIB-LA member Greta Berlin. “Many of us worked in the anti-Apartheid movement and know how effective the cultural and sports boycotts were.”

“We felt that because Zubin Mehta, the conductor of the Israel Philharmonic, refers to it as ‘Israel’s flagship,’ the orchestra serves as a representative of Israel’s government and policies. On its website (, the Orchestra talks about its role in playing for Israel’s soldiers in the field and in celebrating Israel’s military victories.”

President Carter writes in his new best-selling book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,

“Israel’s current policy in the territories is a system of Apartheid, with two peoples occupying the same land but completely separated from each other, with Israel totally dominant and suppressing violence by depriving Palestinians of their basic human rights. Israel’s continued control and colonization of Palestinian land have been the primary obstacles to a comprehensive peace agreement in the Holy Land.”

WHO: Women in Black is an international movement against violence and for justice. It was founded in Israel in 1988 to oppose the Israeli Occupation.

Women in Black-Los Angeles, founded in 2001, is made up of women and men from diverse faiths and national origins including Palestinians, Israelis and Americans, Jews, Muslims and Christians.

A number of members have made multiple visits to the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

The vigils are endorsed by the A.N.S.W.E.R Coalition, Campaign to End Israeli Apartheid (CEIA), and Middle East Peace Fellowship of Southern California. Please find a copy Women in Black-Los Angeles’ letters to the Israel Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras on the website.

Related Links

  • Women in Black-Los Angeles