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Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Protest at Isreali dance group show

Photo: PROTESTS AGAINST ISRAELI DANCE TROUPE AT BRADFORD’S ALHAMBRA

On Tuesday and Wednesday an Israeli dance troupe, the Batsheva Ensemble, will be performing at Bradford's Alhambra… Or will they? Bradford Palestine Solidarity Campaign (BPSC) has said that it will be holding a 'vigil' outside the theatre because the troupe is funded by the Israeli state.
For a start, governments fund all sorts of bodies. You'd have thought that the BPSC wouldn't have a problem with that. Our own governments have funded all sorts of things, from feminist lesbian collectives to festivals celebrating the work of Edward Elgar. Indeed, as leftists often tell us, many organisations, such as dance troupes (but non-Israeli ones) couldn’t exist without government help.
None of that matters because Israel is a 'genocidal' and 'apartheid' state. We are told this again and again and again so it must be true. (Hat's off to Joseph Goebbels on this one.) Despite that, would BPSC have held a vigil (demonstration) against a dance troupe funded by the former Soviet Union? Of course not. From China? No. From the Sudanese Islamist state (presuming they would fund any dance troupe in the first place)? Definitely not. Funded by the terrorist-supporting state of Pakistan? You don't even need to answer that.
They’d say that’s because this is the Big Palestine Issue. But why don’t these Muslims and Leftists see, say, the Tibetan Buddhists as a big issue too?
It seems, then, that real genocidal regimes are OK, whereas a regime like Israel is deemed not to be OK.
But it's not Israel's funding of the dance troupe that's at the heart of the matter. It's the existence of Israel that is. It's not even completely about Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians that's at the heart of the matter for all the protesters - at least not for the leftists amongst them.
It's about the very existence of a capitalist democracy in the Middle East. For these people, Palestine is a tool against 'global capitalism'. For the Islamists, regardless of 'apartheid' or 'genocide', the very existence of Jews, let alone a 'Jewish state', in the ‘Islamic Middle East’ is anathema.
This sort of boycott or demonstration ('vigil') has happened many times before in the UK. It has even happened to other Israeli dance troupes (perhaps the same one).
For example, in May 2008, University and College Union (UCU) carried out a campaign against Jewish and Israeli academics as part of a 'boycott Israel' campaign.
In 2002, Mona Baker, a professor at the University of Manchester, sacked two Israeli academics for being, well, Israeli.
In May 2006, Richard Seaford, a professor at Exeter University, refused to review a book for an Israeli classical studies magazine.
In 2009, Tali Shalom Ezer, an Israeli, produced a film that had nothing to do with the Israel/Palestine conflict. Red Ken Loach, the famous director, said the film should be boycotted because of 'the massacres and state terrorism in Gaza'.
Another academic, professor Andrew Wilkie, refused to accept an Israeli as a PhD student. The student, Amit Duvshani, was told that this was because he had 'served in the Israeli army'.

*) Apart from political reasons, why will the BPSC be protesting outside Bradford's Alhambra? Quite simply - because such protests often work. Recent 'vigils' or boycotts or demos worked!
The present tour of the Batsheva Ensemble has already had a performance cancelled in Brighton. A show in Edinburgh was 'interrupted' by protesters on the inside of the venue. (Indeed the Palestine Noise Brigade interrupted a performance at the Proms. Guess who was performing. And Israeli ensemble.)
The Brighton cancellation was apparently due to 'safety concerns'. Maybe. Or perhaps it was a result of cowardice and/or political sympathy for the Palestinians (or for UK Palestine groups!).
As I said earlier, such intimidation has worked before.
When Muslims protested about the *Satanic Verses*, one English academic (again!) said that Salmon Rushdie deserved to die and that he wouldn't 'shed any tears' over such a murder.
Another academic blamed the Danish cartoonists themselves for the killing and rioting that followed.
Ayaan Ali Hirsi, the Somalian activist against enforced genital mutilation, was 'causing trouble' and didn't have any 'respect for her own community'. Yet another academic said, at Oxford University, that people only listened to her because she was pretty.
And, more recently, Barack Obama, plus many leftists and liberals, castigated an American-Egyptian filmmaker for 'provoking Muslims' with his ‘Innocence of Islam’. (He was a Copt but the Coptic Church of American didn’t make the film, as Bradford's Telegraph & Argus and many Muslims have claimed.)

*) Luckily, not everyone is intimidated by 'vigils' or Muslim riots. Not everyone is a coward and/or a leftist opportunist hoping to 'harness Muslim anger for revolutionary ends'.
Bradford Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, for one, has said:

"... councillors are not involved in deciding which acts should and should not come to the Alhambra [in Bradford] and most people would consider it a good thing we're not."

She began by saying that "[w]e appreciate that there are many strong opinions regarding Israel and Palestine”. Indeed. There were strong feelings about the Islamist genocide of Christians and animists in the Sudan. About the Turkish state killing 20,000 Kurds over the last couple of decades. Over Hamas persecution of Christians in Gaza and the West Bank. Over the Pakistani state funding - not dance troops, but all manner of Islamic terrorist groups.
The problem is that not many people boycotted or demonstrated against these things. A tiny minority may have done so, but not the kind of people who will be protesting outside Bradford's Alhambra tomorrow and on Wednesday.
In other words, 'strong opinions' are not a good enough reason to ban free expression or dance troupes. Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank believe that 'strong opinions' are not enough. Hence the suicide bombs, the riots and the stone throwing.
If we don't watch out, such things will be coming to Bradford - and England generally! - very soon.
Zionists dancers being provocative towards Bradford's Muslims.

On Tuesday (today - 6.11.2012) and Wednesday an Israeli dance troupe, the Batsheva Ensemble, will be performing at Bradford's Alhambra… Or will it? Bradford Palestine Solidarity Campaign (BPSC) has
said that it will be holding a 'vigil' outside the theatre because the troupe is funded by the Israeli state.
For a start, governments fund all sorts of bodies. You'd have thought that the BPSC wouldn't have a problem with that. Our own governments have funded all sorts of things, from feminist lesbian collectives to festivals celebrating the work of Edward Elgar. Indeed, as leftists often tell us, many organisations, such as dance troupes (but non-Israeli ones) couldn’t exist without government help.

None of that matters because Israel is a 'genocidal' and 'apartheid' state. We are told this again and again and again so it must be true. (Hat's off to Joseph Goebbels on this one.) Despite that, would BPSC have held a vigil (demonstration) against a dance troupe funded by the former Soviet Union? Of course not. From China? No. From the Sudanese Islamist state (presuming they would fund any dance troupe in the first place)? Definitely not. Funded by the terrorist-supporting state of Pakistan? You don't even need to answer that.

They’d say that’s because this is the Big Palestine Issue. But why don’t these Muslims and Leftists see, say, the Tibetan Buddhists as a big issue too?

It seems, then, that real genocidal regimes are OK, whereas a regime like Israel is deemed not to be OK.
It's not Israel's funding of the dance troupe that's at the heart of the matter. It's the existence of Israel that is. It's not even completely about Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians that's at the heart of the matter for all the protesters - at least not for the leftists amongst them.

It's about the very existence of a capitalist democracy in the Middle East. For these people, Palestine is a tool against 'global capitalism'. For the Islamists, regardless of 'apartheid' or 'genocide', the very existence of Jews, let alone a 'Jewish state', in the ‘Islamic Middle East’ is anathema.

This sort of boycott or demonstration ('vigil') has happened many times before in the UK. It has even happened to other Israeli dance troupes (perhaps the same one).

For example, in May 2008, University and College Union (UCU) carried out a campaign against Jewish and Israeli academics as part of a 'boycott Israel' campaign.

In 2002, Mona Baker, a professor at the University of Manchester, sacked two Israeli academics for being, well, Israeli.

In May 2006, Richard Seaford, a professor at Exeter University, refused to review a book for an Israeli classical studies magazine.

In 2009, Tali Shalom Ezer, an Israeli, produced a film that had nothing to do with the Israel/Palestine conflict. Red Ken Loach, the famous director, said the film should be boycotted because of 'the massacres and state terrorism in Gaza'.

Another academic, professor Andrew Wilkie, refused to accept an Israeli as a PhD student. The student, Amit Duvshani, was told that this was because he had 'served in the Israeli army'.

*) Apart from political reasons, why will the BPSC be protesting outside Bradford's Alhambra? Quite simply - because such protests often work. Recent 'vigils' or boycotts or demos worked!
The present tour of the Batsheva Ensemble has already had a performance cancelled in Brighton. A show in Edinburgh was 'interrupted' by protesters on the inside of the venue. (Indeed the Palestine Noise Brigade interrupted a performance at the Proms. Guess who was performing. And Israeli ensemble.)
The Brighton cancellation was apparently due to 'safety concerns'. Maybe. Or perhaps it was a result of cowardice and/or political sympathy for the Palestinians (or for UK Palestine groups!).
As I said earlier, such intimidation has worked before.
When Muslims protested about the Satanic Verses, one English academic (again!) said that Salmon Rushdie deserved to die and that he wouldn't 'shed any tears' over such a murder.
Another academic blamed the Danish cartoonists themselves for the killing and rioting that followed.
Ayaan Ali Hirsi, the Somalian activist against enforced genital mutilation, was 'causing trouble' and didn't have any 'respect for her own community' (an Uncle Tome). Yet another academic said, at Oxford University, that people only listened to her because she was pretty.

And, more recently, Barack Obama, plus many leftists and liberals, castigated an American-Egyptian filmmaker for 'provoking Muslims' with his ‘Innocence of Islam’ film. (He was a Copt but the Coptic Church of American didn’t make the film, as Bradford's Telegraph & Argus and many Muslims have claimed.)

*) Luckily, not everyone is intimidated by 'vigils' or Muslim riots. Not everyone is a coward and/or a leftist opportunist hoping to 'harness Muslim anger for revolutionary ends'.
Bradford Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, for one, has said:

"... councillors are not involved in deciding which acts should and should not come to the Alhambra [in Bradford] and most people would consider it a good thing we're not."

She began by saying that "[w]e appreciate that there are many strong opinions regarding Israel and Palestine”. Indeed. There were strong feelings about the Islamist genocide of Christians and animists in the Sudan. About the Turkish state killing 20,000 Kurds over the last couple of decades. Over Hamas persecution of Christians in Gaza and the West Bank. Over the Pakistani state funding - not dance troops, but all manner of Islamic terrorist groups.

The problem is that not many people boycotted or demonstrated against these things. A tiny minority may have done so, but not the kind of people who will be protesting outside Bradford's Alhambra today and on Wednesday.

In other words, 'strong opinions' are not a good enough reason to ban free expression or dance troupes. Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank believe that 'strong opinions' are not enough. Hence the suicide bombs, the riots and the stone throwing.

If we don't watch out, such things will be coming to Bradford - and England generally! - very soon.
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