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Protesters Disrupt Israeli Dance Performance in Edinburgh

Anti-Israel protesters disrupted performances by the Batsheva Dance Company, which was performing at the Edinburgh International Festival.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 9/2/2012, 9:23 AM

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Flash 90

A group of Scottish anti-Israel protesters disrupted performances by the Tel-Aviv based Batsheva Dance Company, which was performing at the Edinburgh International Festival in the U.K. over the weekend.

The internationally acclaimed dance company, which performed “Hora” at the Edinburgh Playhouse over three nights as part of the worldwide festival, was disrupted on each occasion, the BBC reported.

Approximately 100 people, associated with the “Don't Dance with Israeli Apartheid campaign,” reportedly gathered outside of the theatre to sing, demonstrate and burn tickets.

Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt said he regretted the attempts to disrupt the Israeli dance company.

"I strongly support the freedom of Batsheva to appear at the festival, and deeply regret the attempts to disrupt them,” Burt said. "The UK absolutely opposes the targeting of institutions and individuals for no other reason than they are from Israel.

"It achieves nothing, is divisive and runs counter to the long history of cultural freedom in this country," he added.

The protesters were quickly removed by security personnel and the performances went on as scheduled, concluding with a standing ovation by the audience.

“The activists’ attempts to prevent Batsheva from performing and putting Israel’s fine culture on display have failed,” said Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat, who, along with Israel’s Ambassador to the UK Daniel Taub, attended the festival.

“We will not surrender to cultural terror by Israel-haters. The show was spectacular, the Scottish audience applauded the dancers while activists were hurling anti-Israel slurs at them,” Livnat added.