The right response

September 15, 2011

Days before the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra was due to play at the Proms, a number of anti-Israel musicians wrote an open letter demanding that the BBC cancel the concert. So used have we grown to seeing such behaviour treated with kid gloves, or even lauded, that few people expected any meaningful comeback for their actions.

So all the more credit to the board of the London Philharmonic, which has suspended four of its musicians for using their LPO affiliation on the letter. The orchestra is run by its musicians, so this is a welcome stand by artists against colleagues who are so suffused with hatred for Israel that they will pervert their profession in pursuit of their political aims.

What a contrast with the Three Faiths Forum, which has defended the participation in one of its key programmes of a woman who campaigns for violence against Israel. It is all very well - and important - bringing different faiths together to engender mutual understanding. But there has to be a basis in common decency.

Last updated: 10:57am, September 15 2011