Daily Israel Report
More

Zion's Corner Blogs


Israeli Actors Protest Scottish Festival Ban

Scotland cancels Israeli show in art festival over Gaza operation, silent protest play booed by 200 anti-Israel protesters.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 8/10/2014, 11:06 AM

Anti-Israel rally in London (file)
Anti-Israel rally in London (file)
Reuters

Israeli actors on Saturday responded to a discriminatory cancellation of their show at Scotland's Edinburgh Festival Fringe, performing a silent version of their hour-long play while confronted by around 200 anti-Israel protesters.

The Israeli acting troupe, named Incubator Theater, held an entirely silent version of their "hip-hop opera" which normally features rap at Bristo Square in Edinburgh, not far from Reid Hall where they scheduled to perform, reports The Scotsman.

They were faced by a rowdy crowd of roughly 200 anti-Israel activists who booed and chanted during the show. The activists arrived at the Bristo Square fresh off a 2,000 person protest against Israel just two hours prior in Edinburgh's city center.

Speakers at the protest against Israel's counter-terror Operation Protective Edge included Alison Johnston, a member of the Green party in the Scottish Parliament, and Mike Arnott of the Scottish Trades Union Congress General Council. The protest then marched to the First Minister's Bute House residence on St. Andrew Square.

Israeli actors of the troupe said they may repeat their silent protest performance during the festival. The company's art director Arik Ashet said "in Israel I will vote, but that does not make me the government’s agent. I did not come here for politics."

Likewise Avri Havron, who son co-wrote the show, said the group is "very disappointed. They came here because it is the most prestigious arts festival in the world and it is sad that this is the only exposure they are getting.”

The anti-Israel protesters for their part attempted to justify their discrimination against the Israeli group by accusing them of "taking money" from Israel.

"The fact Israelis are performing here is just fine. What we object to is that they have taken money from the Israeli state," said one protester, Eurig Scandrett. "It is unfortunate for these young actors, but we do need to show that taking money from the state is wrong."

International assault on Israel

The cancellation of the show is not the first case in the UK of discrimination against Israel in the arts. Last week, London's Tricycle Theater refused to host the UK Jewish Film Festival this coming November because the event is sponsored by the Israeli embassy.

Scotland's massive protests mirrors similar rallies in London and New YorkOne protest in France saw hundreds of Muslim extremists attacking a major synagogue in Paris, provoking clashes with Jewish youths who rushed to defend the site and worshippers trapped inside.

In Berlin, footage of one such protest showed hundreds of demonstrators chanting in German, "Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come on out and fight on your own."

At a rally in front of the White House last Saturday, thousands of protesters called for an end to the fighting in Gaza. The crowd, including young and old from across the United States, chanted "End U.S. Aid to Israel" and "Israel out of Palestine."

Aside from the public demonstrations against Israel's counter-terror operation, which aims to defend Israeli civilian centers from Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist organization, there has been a global diplomatic campaign against Israel as well.

Britain last week was reportedly considering to toughen arms export measures for Israel. An international manifesto "supporting Palestine" has been signed by various international politicians, led by former Cuban president Fidel Castro.

Likewise, Ecuador, Chile, El Salvador and Peru recalled their ambassadors from Israel earlier this month over the counter-terror operation in Gaza.