By Jessica Elgot
March 25, 2011
You have to feel a bit sorry for the Jewish Music Institute. All they want to do is have an academic discussion of Israeli, Jewish and (for that matter) Arabic music. Instead, they have been hounded by Israel-haters bent on shutting them down, picketing their event and targeting participants.
Sympathise I can but the ramfications far outweigh the potential discomfort. The precedent that has been set by the JMI deciding to "distance" itself from funding coming from the democratically elected government of Israel.
Now, every concert, every art exhibition, every building, every play which has investment from an Israeli company, the Israeli embassy or has Israelis performing or involved is under threat of disruption, because the boycotters believe they have won. To hear BRICUP declare this a victory is vomit-inducing.
After David Mencer's letter to the JMI's trustees, I hope they will withdraw their decision. But in the short term, here are the names of the musicians who were part of BRICUP's boycott efforts, and signed the letter to participants in the Israeli Music conference, urging them not participate.
Please, don't go to their concerts or give them your money (although none of them look exactly like they would set my world alight). If they want to politicise the arts, then two can play at that game.
Derek Ball (composer), Sue Beardon (singer), Frances Bernstein (community choir leader), Raymond Deane (composer), Tom Eisner (violinist LPO), Nancy Elan (violinist LPO), Deborah Fink (soprano), Lisa Heller (singer), Andy Irvine (Irish music), Fergus Johnston (composer), Reem Kelani (Palestinian singer, musician and broadcaster), Les Levidow (violinist), Lubi (DJ), Ewan McLennan (folk musician/songwriter), Susie Meszaros (violist, Chilingirian Quartet), Roy Mowatt (violinist OAE), Dave Randall (musician), Leon Rosselson (singer-songwriter), Dominic Saunders(pianist),Leni Solinger (singer), Sarah Streatfeild (violinist LPO), Sue Sutherley (cellist LPO), Kareem Taylor (musician)