Boy­cotters threaten Is­rael prom

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY JESSICA ELGOT

THE IS­RAELI Phil­har­monic Orches­tra is to be tar­geted by pro-Pales­tinian pick­ets when it per­forms at the BBC Proms at the Royal Al­bert Hall on Septem­ber 1.

BRICUP, which pro­motes aca­demic and cul­tural boy­cotts of Is­rael, called for a boy­cott of the sold-out con­cert and sent an open letter to Proms di­rec­tor Roger Wright.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion’s chair, emer­i­tus pro­fes­sor Jonathan Rosen­head, wrote: “By invit­ing the IPO, a pil­lar of the Is­raeli state sys­tem and of its cul­tural pro­pa­ganda cam­paign, you pro­vide the Is­raeli gov­ern­ment, per­pe­tra­tor of the Cast Lead in­va­sion of Gaza and of so many other vi­o­la­tions of in­ter­na­tional law and of hu­man rights, with the sup­port that they crave.”

Pro­fes­sor Rosen­head added: “For years now the Is­raeli Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs has been pro­mot­ing ‘Brand Is­rael’, a de­lib­er­ate PR cam­paign to di­vert peo­ple’s gaze from what they are do­ing to Pales­tini­ans. The idea is to craft a new im­age by fo­cus­ing on Is­rael’s cul­tural and sci­en­tific achieve­ments.”

But the BBC’s Roger Wright said: “The in­vi­ta­tion to the orches­tra is a purely mu­si­cal one, giv­ing the au­di­ence the op­por­tu­nity to hear this fine orches­tra dur­ing this year’s Proms, not least in the 75th birth­day year of its con­duc­tor Zu­bin Me­hta.”

No-one from the IPO was pre­pared to com­ment.

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