Israel boycott

Trade unions embrace bigotry and step up boycott

By Martin Bright, September 15, 2011

The TUC this week voted to review its relationship with the Histadrut, Israel's General Federation of Labour, and reaffirmed its commitment to the boycott movement in partnership with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

The unprecedented move was voted through on the last day of the TUC's annual congress in London and could lead to the severing of a relationship that goes back to the 1920s.


TUC vote to review ties with Israeli trade unions

By Jennifer Lipman, September 14, 2011

The Trades Union Congress has voted at its annual conference to withdraw co-operation with Israeli organisations, including the Israeli trade union the Histadrut.

They said unions should "review their bi-lateral relations with all Israeli organisations, including Histadrut".

Although it was by no means a unanimous vote, it is still a significant step for the TUC.


UK musicians suspended over Israel Proms row

By Marcus Dysch, September 13, 2011

Four members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra have been suspended for calling on the BBC to cancel the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s Proms appearance earlier this month.

Cellist Sue Sutherley and violinists Tom Eisner, Nancy Elan and Sarah Streatfeild were among those who signed a letter to the Independent on August 30.


Riverdance sets off on Israel tour

By Jennifer Lipman, September 13, 2011

The Irish musical sensation Riverdance arrived in Israel earlier this month despite calls for them to boycott performances for political reasons.

Pro-Palestinian activists targeted the troupe urging after the shows were announced, but their demands were resisted.


Hall of Fame: Ed Vaizey

September 9, 2011

"There should be a separation between art and politics, particularly in this case given the astonishing history of the Israel Philharmonic orchestra, which saved so many Jews from death at the hands of their Nazi oppressors."


This is not the same as Soviet Jewry

By Colin Shindler, September 8, 2011

During the 1970s, there were always internal debates about how to help Soviet Jewry through demonstrations and protests. Indeed, the student organisers of the very first march to the Soviet Embassy in London in May 1966 did not inform the Board of Deputies, in case they tried to veto it, since they feared it would instigate antisemitism.


Bigotry and xenophobia well to fore

By Oliver Kamm, September 8, 2011

Anti-Israel campaigners have every right to assemble, demonstrate, picket and argue. But preventing speech that they disapprove of is no legitimate part of a democratic society. Shouting down a musical performance is the same type of outrage, but a degree worse. It is not mere boorishness but militant philistinism. Its near equivalent is book-burning.


Shame doesn't even cover it

By Norman Lebrecht, September 8, 2011

I'm not a big friend of the Israel Philharmonic, an orchestra composed of too many Russians and no Arabs. But when I hear people calling for a ban on the IPO because it has "Israel" in its title - worse, when some of the noisiest objectors are self-avowed Jews - I shall be out on the barricades defending the orchestra's right to play.


Soloist suspended after Israel 'rant'

By Marcus Dysch, September 8, 2011

A London Philharmonic Orchestra violinist has been suspended after she launched an anti-Israel tirade at a question and answer session.

The incident came shortly before the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra's repeatedly disrupted performance at the Royal Albert Hall last Thursday.


Complaints to BBC over Proms disruption

September 5, 2011

The BBC received 22 complaints about the disruption to its broadcasting of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra's performance at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms.

A dozen people unfurled a banner reading "Free Palestine" and sang about "Israeli apartheid" as the IPO began the concert. They were removed by security guards as the orchestra, conducted by Zubin Mehta, played on.