Protest against Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in New York

BDS activists protest against Israel Philharmonic Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Consul Dani Dayan: No protest will stop Israeli culture.

Nitsan Keidar ,

Protest against Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in New York
Protest against Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in New York
Consulate General of Israel in New York

On Sunday, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra performed at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York, in the presence of the Consul General of Israel in New York Dani Dayan. The concert was part of a tour that began last weekend and ends on Saturday.

The US tour was conducted with the assistance of the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Consulate General of Israel in New York. More than 100 members of the orchestra arrived in the US, led by conductor Yoel Levy, who replaced Maestro Zubin Mehta who fell ill. The soloist at the New York concert was famed violinist Itzhak Perlman.

A few days before the concert, a protest against the orchestra began on social networks, led by Adalah, a group of activists affiliated with the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The organization calls for a cultural boycott of Israel and claims that "Israel's science, culture and academia are trying to cover up its terrible crimes against humanity."

On Sunday, a demonstration attended by dozens of activists was held outside the hall where the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra was playing. The protesters were demonstrating against the performance of the orchestra and against Israeli culture in general. The protesters held up signs reading, among other things: "Israeli cultural institutions should be boycotted, such as the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra which participates in the Israeli apartheid regime", “The State of Israel harms Palestinian culture: closes theaters, does not allow cultural events to take place, and prohibits Palestinian artists from traveling”, “Israel systematically negates the basic rights of Palestinians, whether they live under Israeli military occupation, as unequal citizens in Israel or as refugees, and their right to return to their homeland".

Dani Dayan, the Consul General of Israel in New York, said, "I am proud of the arrival of the Philharmonic Orchestra in the United States. Israeli culture is in demand throughout the world and is a source of Israeli pride. This is not the first time that extremist anti-Israeli elements have organized a protest against Israeli culture. No protest will stop Israeli culture from flourishing both in Israel and abroad.”