Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Edinburgh festival: no change on Israelis despite boycott campaign

    The organisers of the Edinburgh International Festival have said they will not bow to pressure after pro-Palestinian campaigners called for an invitation to an Israeli dance company to be withdrawn.

    Israel's Batsheva Dance Company is due to perform three shows at the event between August 30 and September 1, as part of a UK-wide tour.

    But the company has been targeted by pro-Palestinian activists in Dundee, who called for the shows to be disrupted on the basis that Batsheva is "actively complicit in whitewashing Israeli human-rights abuses, apartheid, and occupation of Palestinian land" because it receives funding from the Israeli government.

    Prominent anti-Israel groups, as well as individual activists from MP Jeremy Corbyn to journalist John Pilger and Yvonne Ridley, have now backed a letter sent under the auspices of the 'Don't Dance with Israeli Apartheid' campaign.

    The letter, sent to EIF director Jonathan Mills, expressed support for "a boycott of all cultural performers and exhibiters that are institutionally linked to the Israeli state".

    The signatories said that they protested "in the strongest terms about the invitation... The tactic of boycott was legitimate and effective in helping to end apartheid in South Africa and it can make a significant contribution in countering the latest manifestation in Israel/Palestine.

    They added: "Without question, Batsheva meets the criteria set by Pacbi (the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel) for boycott action and it is for this reason that we are calling on you to withdraw its invitation to perform at this year's festival."

    The signatories also said that they rejected the suggestion that culture could be "disconnected from politics" and that the presence of the Israelis could be balanced by the presence of Palestinian performers.

    "The EIF is one of the most prestigious arts festivals in the world, and we believe that it should be, unambiguously, on the side of justice and human rights for all," they wrote. "This means opposing apartheid Israel and those who act as ambassadors for this state. We call on you to withdraw the invitation."

    A spokesman for the EIF confirmed that Mr Miller had got the letter but said that the festival's position on Batsheva's involvement remained unchanged.

Uk News

Anti-Israel conference faces delay

Lee Harpin

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Anti-Israel conference faces delay
Uk News

Commission criticised over inquiry into 'antisemitic' charity

Daniel Sugarman

Monday, December 5, 2016

Commission criticised over inquiry into 'antisemitic' charity
Uk News

Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs dies aged 86

JC Reporter

Friday, December 2, 2016

Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs dies aged 86
Special Reports

Dublin benefits from overseas aid

Barry Toberman

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Dublin benefits from overseas aid
Uk News

Luciana Berger troll driven by 'fierce antisemitism'

JC Reporter

Monday, December 5, 2016

Luciana Berger troll driven by 'fierce antisemitism'
Uk News

UJS presidential candidate abused for pro-BDS s...

Daniel Sugarman

Thursday, December 1, 2016

UJS presidential candidate abused for pro-BDS s...
Uk News

Limmud: Food for thought at session on 'ethical eating'

By Simon Rocker

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Limmud: Food for thought at session on 'ethical eating'
Uk News

Local MP blocks visit from David Irving's 'secret tour'

Rosa Doherty

Friday, December 2, 2016

Local MP blocks visit from David Irving's 'secret tour'
Uk News

CST urges Rudd to ban neo-Nazi group

Lee Harpin

Thursday, December 1, 2016

CST urges Rudd to ban neo-Nazi group