Monday, September 05, 2011

Israel Philharmonic Performance in London Disrupted By 'Palestine' Groupies

There was an interesting occurrence last week at London's Royal Albert Hall.

The Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra,led by Zubin Mehta was playing at the annual BBC Proms Concert.

But as the IPO began Webern’s Passacaglia, a dozen people unfurled a banner reading “Free Palestine” and started to chant and sing about “Israeli apartheid” and “violations of international law and human rights”. As the orchestra played over the protests and the 'protesters' were removed by security guards, other groups situated at different points on the audience broke out with anti-Israel chants.As Gil Shaham, an Israeli violinist, prepared to play an encore after the Bruch violin concerto, another group of 'protesters' began shouting slogans and scuffling with members of the audience.

Throughout the entire episode, the IPO and Zubin Mehta maintained their dignity and continued playing.

The chanting and mock singing disrupted the concert to the extent that BBC decided it could not continue with the live broadcast of the concert and pulled the plug because of what the Beeb genteelly called 'audience disturbances'.

The idea, of course is to make Israelis persona non grata in Britain, and that well-organized campaign now extends past governmental figures, academics and businesses to cultural figures like the members of the IPO.

It's also obviously directed at them because they're Jews. No similar protests have ever been directed at musicians from Iran, Turkey, China, Russia, or any other countries accused of human rights violations.And singling out Jews in this way is de facto anti-Semitism, something that has become quite acceptable in many circles in Britain under the mask of 'anti-Zionism'.

On the plus side, the tactic appears to have failed at this particular concert. The Proms audience turned on the 'protesters', chanting “Out, out, out” and applauding as the scum were booted out of the hall.And any time the IPO finished a piece of music, they received extended standing ovations from the crowd, a tribute to the musician's courage and professionalism as much as their musical skills.

The money quote came from Ed Vaizey, the Culture Minister,who was in the Royal Albert Hall for the concert. He tweeted: “Demonstrators seem to have turned [the] entire audience pro-Israel.”

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B.Poster said...

"...Iran, Turkey, China, Russia, or any other country accused of human rights violations..." I wonder how many people are acutally aware of accusations of human rights violations by the above mentioned countries. Its not something focused on much by the main stream media. If our primary source of information is the main stream media, we would think the ultimate human rights violators in the world, if not the only human rights violators in the world, are America and Israel.

Anonymous said...

Do you recall that John Lennon song from circa 1967 ( it must have been either 1966 or 1967 ) ' A Day In The Life ' ? Watching those nauseous protesters & their subsequent ejections reminded me of the lines ' / & though the holes were rather small / they had to count them all / now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall / ' .

I'm not surprised by the audience's reaction & the response, for they are there to participate in the wonders of Western Civilisation. Have you ever noticed how White & Oriental our audiences for Orchestras are? If you see a pair of elderly Blacks here in the North Eastern US, they probably have a child or grandchild of theirs in the orchestra. I encountered some nice African immigrant Blacks once, but I can't remember any young Blacks, or, ( on their side of the ' Pond ', ) yoots, or yoofs, or yobs, or chavs or chavettes, or hoods being there. The patriotic crowds celebrating along the royal wedding processional routes were white, with not a Mahometan, misogynistic, nose-to-toe covering to be seen.

I can't forgive them for desecrating my Albert Hall, to which I have much nostalgic, sentimental attachment.

By the by, was the death of Nancy Wake, the great Resistance leader, covered here in the US ? I lack the time to elaborate, but she was an extraordinary person.

- m-------- ( though I seem to recall that you assigned me the moniker or handle of dragon/dinosaur when I was last passing through -- strangely cumbersome, not as evocative as my ' Rolling Thunder ' CB handle in the 1970s ! )

Rob said...

Ses souvenirs sont des choses merveilleuses, DD.

You just reminded me that I always intended to read the White Mouse's memoirs.From all accounts, she was an amazing woman and no,her death was not covered here in the US at all.

As far as your comment on Muslims and music, you may or may not be aware that Islam has some fairly strict prohibitions on music, with much of it ( that is used for secular purposes) being haram,forbidden (Fath al-Baari, 10/55, Tafseer al-Tabari, 21/40, Tafseer al-Sa’di, 6/150 et al) although obviously this rule is not strictly adhered to as there are many Muslim pop singers and musicians. However, there are very few Muslim conductors or classical musicians as there are in East Asia or the West.

Nice to have you back, BTW...