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Palestine | U.S.

New Yorkers protest Israel Philharmonic, more protests planned in other cities
by Adalah-NY ( info [at] adalahny.org )
Tuesday Feb 22nd, 2011 9:57 PM
Seventy New Yorkers protested the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s (IPO) performance at Carnegie Hall Tuesday evening, using chants, songs and street theater to highlight the IPO’s role in whitewashing Israel’s apartheid policies against the Palestinian people. The orchestra’s performances are being met with protests in six of the seven cities on its US tour, including a protest last Sunday evening in West Palm Beach, an upcoming Wednesday protest in Newark, and further protests in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles, as reported by the Israeli news website YNet.

Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel
http://www.adalahny.org

New Yorkers protest Israel Philharmonic for whitewashing apartheid, protests planned in other US cities

MEDIA CONTACT: info [at] adalahny.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 22 – Seventy New Yorkers protested the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s (IPO) performance at Carnegie Hall Tuesday evening, using chants, songs and street theater to highlight the IPO’s role in whitewashing Israel’s apartheid policies against the Palestinian people. The orchestra’s performances are being met with protests in six of the seven cities on its US tour, including a protest last Sunday evening in West Palm Beach, an upcoming Wednesday protest in Newark, and further protests in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles, as reported by the Israeli news website YNet.

Noelle Ghoussaini from Adalah-NY explained, “Tonight we sent a clear message to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Israeli government’s “Brand Israel” campaign that their music cannot drown out Palestinians’ calls for justice.” The US protests respond to the call from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) to boycott cultural institutions like the IPO that work to normalize Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories and whitewash the oppression of Palestinians in Israel, the occupied territories, and in exile.

Hundreds of well-dressed concert-goers paused on the edge of the sidewalk in front of Carnegie Hall, and looked across the street at the protesters’ signs, and listened to their chants and songs. Many were handed a mock IPO program that featured a cover photo of a past IPO performance in front of Israeli tanks for the Israeli army, and, on the inside, the PACBI’s call for an international boycott of the IPO.

Protesters held signs saying, “Israel Fiddles while Palestine Burns,” “Justice Presto not Lento,” “Without Justice There’s No Harmony,” and “Boycott the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra;” and they carried a banner with the words “Don’t Harmonize with Israeli Apartheid,” surrounded on each side by a violin with a rifle barrel as its neck. Protesters chanted, “We love Gustav, we love Mahler, but occupation makes us holler;” “For liberation take a stand, don’t let Is-ra-el rebrand;” and “Muslims, Jews, Atheists and Christians, stand for justice like Egyptians.”

In a street theater skit, a protester­­-turned-IPO conductor asked the crowd, “How can apartheid continue without us promoting the new, positive, aesthetically vibrant and civilized Israel? Don’t forget, there is “art” in “apartheid.” The conductor instructed three violinists to play progressively louder in an ultimately unsuccessful effort to drown out and cover up Israeli crimes against Palestinians that kept welling up behind the orchestra.

By serving as cultural ambassadors for Israel, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra is supporting the “Brand Israel” initiative, a campaign by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to divert attention from Israel's oppression of Palestinians and “show Israel’s prettier face, so we [Israel] are not thought of purely in the context of war.” The IPO refrains from criticism of Israel's policies and is described by the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra as "Israel’s finest cultural emissary.” American Friends of the IPO further notes that "the goodwill created by [the IPO's] tours...is of enormous value to the State of Israel. As a result, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra maintains its position at the forefront of cultural diplomacy and the international music scene."

One corporate sponsor of the IPO's US tour is Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev, who hosted a gala IPO fundraiser. Leviev’s companies have been shunned by UNICEF, CARE, Oxfam, the British and Norwegian governments, and Hollywood stars for building illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and for involvement in human rights abuses in the diamond industry in Southern Africa.

The growing international movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel has gained momentum in recent years, with performers like Elvis Costello, Gil Scott-Heron, Roger Waters, Devendra Banhart, and the Pixies all refusing to play in Israel. The 2005 Palestinian civil society call for BDS until Israel respects Palestinians’ basic rights was endorsed by over 170 Palestinian civil society groups. The Palestinian BDS movement is a nonviolent campaign for Palestinian rights inspired by the international boycott campaign that helped to abolish apartheid in South Africa.

For protest photos see: http://adalahny.org/photo-galleries/israel-philharmonic-protest-22-2-2011

For a schedule of IPO protests see: http://adalahny.org/press-releases-other/israel-philharmonic-to-be-met-with-protests-across-the-us-during-february-march-tour
§Protest against Israel Philharmonic in NYC
by Adalah-NY Tuesday Feb 22nd, 2011 9:57 PM

Photo by Adalah-NY

Photo by Adalah-NY
§Attendees at Israel Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall
by Adalah-NY Tuesday Feb 22nd, 2011 9:57 PM

Photo by Adalah-NY
§Protest against Israel Philharmonic in NYC
by Adalah-NY Tuesday Feb 22nd, 2011 9:57 PM

Photo by Adalah-NY

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by NewYorker
Tuesday Feb 22nd, 2011 10:25 PM
Muslim dictators are slaughtering their citizens wholesale in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Egypt, yet these Arab bigots are protesting Israel? These protesters are the very definition of insanity. The IPO has been in existence since 1936, when Arabs were slaughtering Jews in Jerusalem and Hebron. Look up the Arab riots of 1936 and 1929 Hebron massacre in case you aren't familiar with ACTUAL middle east history. Also, why was the PLO founded by Egypt in 1964 before "occupation" even existed?
by Anti-Zionist
Wednesday Feb 23rd, 2011 7:02 PM
What is the Zionist drivel comment doing on this website? Any thinking person objects to the entire 63 year occupation of Palestine, and its preparations for it since and including the 1917 Balfour Declaration.
by PrionPartyy
Wednesday Feb 23rd, 2011 7:05 PM
Was the USA not the USA before Washington D.C. was built?

Yes, dictators in Muslim lands are for the most part, total pricks. Especially those whom the Democraps and Republitrash support, with US taxes. But that doesn't mean Zionists are something other than murderous thieves of Palestinian lands.

Palestinians have been against Zionist invasion of Palestinian lands. And??? Did you have a point to make???

You admit that Zionists knew, without question, that the locals were against ANY Zionist invasion. Yet, Zionists continued to invade, knowing that they were invading a land where they were NOT welcomed by the locals. Some, a tiny fraction of the local's population, even used violence agianst the Zionist invaders who invaded Palestinian lands, knowing that they were not welcome.

And???

What, are you suggesting it is wrong for Palestinians to use VIOLENCE against the Zionist invaders? Are you saying it is wrong for Palestinian victims of the Zionist's chosen invasion to use VIOLENCE to liberate the Zionist occupied Palestinian's lands?

Well then, YOU tell US just what ways Palestinians CAN defend themselves from the murderous thieving Zionist invaders!!! YOU tell US what ways Palestinians can liberate their homeland from the murderous thieving Zionist invaders.

And then tell us how the Brittish occupation forces slaughtered the Palestinians who DARED to defend their homeland from Zionist invaders.

PLO founded in 1964 was "before" Zionist occupation of Palestinian lands existed. Zionist occupation of Palestinian lands started when Zionists started to move into the Palestinian's homeland under the Brittish occupier's guns just like when NAZI occupiers of Czechoslovakia let their Hungarian allies occupy Slovakian portions of NAZI occupied Czechoslovakia. Hungarians started occupation of Slovakian lands the moment they arrived in Slovakian lands. And the same with Britts suporting the Zionist's chosen invasion of Palestinian lands.
by by the way
Friday Feb 25th, 2011 7:11 AM
Roger Waters refused to refuse to play in Israel. He even admonished the people calling for a boycott, saying "Being Israeli does not bar from being human."

And what was it that Macy Gray called those who were demanding her to boycott Israel, which she refused to do? "Assholes."