Innuendo removed from mag

By Marcus Dysch, September 22, 2011

The New Statesman magazine has amended an online article written by a pro-Palestinian activist following complaints that it alluded to a Jewish conspiracy.

Activist Ben White, who has spoken at events organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and War on Want, had written about the London Philharmonic Orchestra's suspension of four players who put their names to a letter, published in the Independent, calling on the BBC to cancel a Prom by the Israel Philharmonic.

He questioned why the LPO seemingly changed its mind over taking action against the players, between the publication of the letter on August 30 and their suspension on September 13.

Mr White, author of Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner's Guide, wrote: "It was Gavin Dixon who pointedly noted that the LPO is 'obviously trying to appease somebody. It would be indiscreet to speculate as to who and why'."

The LPO is known to have received a number of complaints from Jewish supporters following the publication of the letter.

The remark was copied from a piece written by classical music journalist Mr Dixon in which he suggested the LPO had "over-reacted" in imposing the suspensions.

The New Statesman has now removed the sentence from its online version of Mr White's article, although the magazine's editors and Mr White declined to comment on the amendment.

Among those who added comments on the New Statesman website was CST communications director Mark Gardner, who said the use of the sentence was "disgusting".

He later said: "Mr White insinuated some sort of crazy conspiracy theory around the orchestra. Now, his innuendo is gone but the mistrust is actually increased, because neither he nor the New Statesman will explain why it disappeared."

Last updated: 2:50pm, September 22 2011