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Philadelphians to Philly Orchestra: Cancel your trip to Israel

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Over 100  musicians, artists, scholars, union members and activists, as well as 33 social justice organizations, have called on the Philadelphia Orchestra to cancel its planned June tour in Israel. In a March 21 letter, they explained that the orchestra’s trip is part of “the Israeli government’s Brand Israel propaganda strategy,” and called on the orchestra “not to lend your good name to covering up Israel’s oppression of Palestinians.”

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s claim that their performance in Israel is “cultural diplomacy,” not “a political mission,” is undermined by their own admission that the trip is “in celebration of its [Israel’s] 70th anniversary” and by their close collaboration with Israeli government officials, before the trip and in the planned itinerary.  At a joint celebration with the orchestra, officials from the Israeli consulate in New York confirmed that The Philadelphia Orchestra’s planned performance in Jerusalem supports Israel’s unilateral declaration of Jerusalem as its capital, a status that contravenes international law and denies indigenous Palestinian rights to their native city.

On Friday, as Palestinians in Gaza marched for their lives, the Israeli military attacked from land and air, killing 18 unarmed Palestinians and wounding over 1400 more.  At least 773 people, unarmed and demonstrating on their own land, were shot with live ammunition by snipers in a single day, apparently on clear shoot-to-kill orders from the Israeli government.

Such examples of Israel’s contempt and wanton destruction of Palestinian life are precisely the sort of abuses with which The Philadelphia Orchestra will be associating itself in making this trip.

In a March 26 emailed response, the orchestra’s co-Presidents Ryan Fleur and Matthew Lode invoked “brotherly and sisterly love,” and “peace and tolerance through music,” but did not address the substance of the letter.  The Philly Don’t Orchestrate Apartheid campaign responded by questioning how a planned meeting with Miri Regev can be reconciled with love, peace, or tolerance.  Regev is Israel’s Minister of Culture and Sport who likened African asylum seekers to “a cancer,” apologized to cancer survivors for the association with Black people, posted a video of herself with Israeli soccer fans as they shouted genocidal chants at Palestinians, and introduced “loyalty in culture” legislation to deny funding for activities that “‘contravene the principles of the state.’”

Inspired by the global cultural boycott that helped end Apartheid in South Africa, Palestinian civil society has called on international cultural institutions not to perform in Israel as a popular non-violent means pressuring Israel to end its occupation and apartheid policies.

Viola player for the Galilee quartet and conscientious objector, Omar Sa’ad, explained, “Since its founding, Israel has sought to erase Palestinian identity, including Palestinian arts and culture – denying Palestinian artists the ability to travel, canceling performances, closing venues, seizing materials, blocking funding, and even trying to ban the work of our national poet Mahmoud Darwish. By celebrating Israel and collaborating with the Israeli government, the Philadelphia Orchestra will be taking a clear position against the freedom of Palestinian artists.”

Susan Abulhawa, from the Philadelphia Don’t Orchestrate Apartheid group said, “Intentionally or not, the orchestra’s tour is wholly in the service of the Israeli government’s propaganda strategy that exploits visits by international artists to divert attention from its violent, repressive policies towards the indigenous Palestinian people. We are appealing to the The Philadelphia Orchestra not to use our city’s beautiful art in service of a foreign government’s state propaganda.”

Among the signers of the letter are: Music Director Laurence Dreyfus; Composer Raymond Deane; Director of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, Tareq Abboushi; Israeli composer Ohal Grietzer; Kenyan poet Shailja Patel; Black Lives Matter – Philadelphia; Students for Justice in Palestine – Temple; Jewish Voice for Peace – Philadelphia; Labor for Palestine.

About Philadelphia Don’t Orchestrate Apartheid Campaign

Israel has invited the Philadelphia Orchestra to perform there and use them to normalize the occupation of Palestine. Philly, Don't Orchestrate Apartheid!

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40 Responses

  1. Misterioso
    April 6, 2018, 9:33 am

    One can only conclude that when the world was in the midst of WWII with France, Holland and other countries brutally occupied by Nazi Germany, the Philadelphia Orchestra would have welcomed the opportunity to perform in Berlin.

  2. JWalters
    April 7, 2018, 7:40 pm

    A “celebration” of the massacre at Deir Yassin, and the many other human sacrifices for Israel’s “sacred” goal.

  3. DaBakr
    April 8, 2018, 3:20 am

    Almost sad and pathetic, the effort to convince this orchestra to boycott. Too bad there isn’t an iota of scrap, spunk or fight in the campaign. It’s straight lame ass Israel hating, Zionist-loathing propaganda 101 with super schmaltzy attempts to tie in the staged current events to’tug at heartstrings of the gullible fools watching the orchestrated Gaza fiasco as it falls spectacularly.

    Maybe somebody at one of the so-called’human’ rights groups can call Baronbaum to play an all Wagner program. But oh…. Even Wagner is acceptable and getting tres chic amongst the younger Zionist hating American Jews abandoning Israel in droves.

    • Mooser
      April 15, 2018, 6:11 pm

      “Even Wagner is acceptable and getting tres chic amongst the younger Zionist hating American Jews abandoning Israel in droves.”

      Somebody move the couch, quick…oh, too late, Dabakr has fainted and hit his head on the floor. I’d help myself to his pearls if he wasn’t clutching them so tightly.

      Somebody burn a feather under his nose. No, don’t, he’s probably got the vapors, too.

      • Mooser
        April 16, 2018, 3:48 pm

        And turn off that opera. If “Dabakr” regains consciousness during the Masadadammerung, he might have a seizure.

      • amigo
        April 16, 2018, 4:19 pm

        “And turn off that opera. If “Dabakr” regains consciousness during the Masadadammerung, he might have a seizure.”Mooser

        Might I entreat you to withdraw that request.Unless of course . you would miss duhbaker,s presence here .Or maybe you understand he has nowhere else to post his comments.

        You are far too kind and thoughtful Mooser . You would have made a first rate. Zionist.

  4. jon s
    April 9, 2018, 4:41 pm

    I see that mw is carrying a prominent ad targetting Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Of all the companies in the world, Ben & Jerry’s!?
    The bds campaign at its stupidest.

    • amigo
      April 9, 2018, 5:51 pm

      Did you have any comments on your brave most moral heroes shooting unarmed Peaceful protesters in Not Israel while your fellow squatters drink wine and enjoy the show.

      All that is troubling you is Ben and Jerry,s being boycotted.

      Some country, some people , some mess.

      • jon s
        April 10, 2018, 5:19 pm

        I condemn the shooting of unarmed peaceful protesters.

      • Mooser
        April 15, 2018, 6:08 pm

        “I condemn the shooting of unarmed peaceful protesters.”

        And let Jews get shot down by weapons concealed beneath voluminous traditional garb? How do you know they are unarmed?

    • gamal
      April 9, 2018, 7:41 pm

      “The bds campaign at its stupidest.”

      in other news…

      “Dublin City Council votes to support Palestinian BDS movement & discontinue HP contracts”

      Dublin City Council votes to support Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement aimed at pressuring Israel to end occupation and obey international law

      DCC commits to discontinue contracts with HP and DXC, and calls for expulsion of Israeli Ambassador”

      http://www.ipsc.ie/bds/dublin-city-council-votes-to-support-palestinian-bds-movement-discontinue-hp-contracts

  5. amigo
    April 9, 2018, 5:38 pm

    “The bds campaign at its stupidest.” Jon S

    “The decision to call for a boycott

    VTJP’s thinking on the necessity for a boycott reached a tipping point during Israel’s military assault against Gaza in the summer of 2014. 2,200 Palestinians were killed and more than 11,000 wounded. The casualties were overwhelmingly civilians.

    Because Gaza’s morgues could not handle the horrific carnage, bodies of dead children and babies had to be stacked temporarily in ice cream freezers prior to burial.

    While this massacre of innocents was being carried out, Ben & Jerry’s “peace & love” ice cream was passing through Israeli checkpoints, being transported on Jewish-only roads, and being sold to supermarkets and for catered events in Jewish-only settlements.”

    https://bdsmovement.net/news/it%E2%80%99s-time-boycott-ben-jerry%E2%80%99s

    As you are an illegal squatter , you wouldn,t understand.

  6. jon s
    April 12, 2018, 4:49 pm

    amigo,
    I’m not an illegal settler , I’ve opposed the settlements since their inception, and I support, and practice , a boycott of the settlements and their produce.
    I still don’t see why we should boycott B&J ice cream.

    • echinococcus
      April 12, 2018, 11:03 pm

      John S seems to be in a panic. After a long bout of advocacy for massacring people deemed non-innocent, he now realizes he is a colonial invader from the US criminally squatting on land stolen from people who were massacred by colonial invaders just like himself.

      • Mooser
        April 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

        “criminally squatting on land stolen”

        Ne, “Jon s” has explained it to us (or rather Zio-splained) that he lives in a legal settlement.
        He pays a mortgage, so that makes it all legal.

        “John S seems to be in a panic.”

        He’s not getting the love he is entitled to, and it bugs him.

    • Annie Robbins
      April 13, 2018, 7:55 am

      jon, did you read “Ben & Jerry’s Economic Complicity in Israel’s Military Occupation and Illegal Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory”? what does it mean to “support…a boycott of the settlements” while at the same time supporting businesses that profit off the settlements?

  7. jon s
    April 15, 2018, 4:33 pm

    Annie,
    B&J ice cream is SOLD in the settlements, like everything else.
    The settlers buy ice cream, along with other food, drinks, clothes, appliances, computers, cars, airline tickets, and everything else.
    So why boycott B&J and not Nestle, which also sells ice cream in the sttlements? and also Coke and Pepsi, and Google, Microsoft and Intel, all major car makers and airlines, and so on?
    I support a boycott of the illegal settlements and their produce, the kind of action which convinced Barkan Wines to pull out of the Barkan Industrial Zone and Sodastream to relocate to the Negev. I supported a boycott even though it cost many Palestinian jobs.

    • Annie Robbins
      April 15, 2018, 4:51 pm

      So why boycott B&J and not Nestle

      nestles is already targeted by bds. https://www.facebook.com/BDSbayarea/photos/a.719657444772088.1073741828.718226288248537/740383832699449/

      https://www.haaretz.com/jewish/bds-activists-label-israeli-products-in-canadian-stores-1.5417887

      They were stuck on Pampers diapers, made by Proctor & Gamble, one of the largest clients of an Israeli company that supplies diaper products; on Coffee-mate, made by Nestlé, which has a large business footprint in Israel; and McCafé coffee by McDonald’s, which BDS activists say has partnered with U.S. Jewish groups to promote trips to Israel.

      Meanwhile, stickers proclaiming “Israeli apartheid, don’t buy into it” were affixed to five bottles of Efrat white wine, made in the Judean Hills, at a Vancouver liquor store.

      settlers buy ice cream, along with other food, drinks, clothes, appliances, computers, cars, airline tickets, and everything else.

      whoever distributes B&J to the settlements, they and B&J profit off the occupation. B&J has a say so over who distributes their products and if they are ok with making that profit over doing what’s morally right, then they will be targeted. they should not be selling their products in illegal settlements. they should not be making life more pleasurable for people living on stolen land. not too complicated.

      • jon s
        April 16, 2018, 2:47 pm

        Annie,
        I still don’t understand the reasoning. In the settlements there are supermarkets which sell…practically everything . Settlers also buy cars and computers and appliances and clothes. Singling out B&J when every other company sells in the settlements doesn’t make much sense. (The only company I know of which refuses to sell there is McDonald’s, thanks to the owner, one of the founders of Peace Now).

        It makes more sense to boycott items produced in the settlements. That’s what the EU is doing in the initiative to label such items distinctively, and that’s what I do and call on others to do . (By writing that I probably broke the law…)

        You and your friends may

      • Mooser
        April 16, 2018, 3:54 pm

        Ah, I get it! It’s the duty and obligation of BDS to work in concert and in support of the “Israeli Left”.

        Cause if it doesn’t, the left will turn right and hurt the Palestinians even more?

      • Maghlawatan
        April 16, 2018, 4:10 pm

        The Israeli left left. Or perhaps it has expired.
        Israel is like the GOP. The wingnuts won. The wingnuts run the show.
        Pottery Barn rules apply.

      • jon s
        April 16, 2018, 4:30 pm

        Annie,
        Oops, sorry about the last line ( you and your…), which got in there by mistake…

      • Annie Robbins
        April 17, 2018, 6:01 pm

        Singling out B&J when every other company sells in the settlements doesn’t make much sense.

        i already explained, they are not singled out. many many companies selling consumer goods in the settlements are targeted.

        The only company I know of which refuses to sell there is McDonald’s

        not sure how that’s relevant.

        It makes more sense to boycott items produced in the settlements.

        why? if you live in a town w/a corporation that profits off the occupation it makes sense to target that corporation. it makes perfect sense for an american to target caterpillar or motorola. and if you live in burlington, it makes sense to target ben and jerry’s. some activists and campaigns are just more effective than others, and get the word out more.

        it’s not as if there’s some limit on what you can boycott. obviously it takes a lot of effort to organize a campaign against a specific company, but many activists groups work together under the umbrella of the bds movement. but effectively, it makes sense to boycott as many companies and products as one can once you find out a company is profiting off the occupation and not limit oneself to just products produced in the settlements.

        they have a chevrolet dealership in Ma’ale Adumim. that would be a corporation to target. why not?

    • amigo
      April 15, 2018, 5:01 pm

      “So why boycott B&J and not Nestle, which also sells ice cream in the sttlements? and also Coke and Pepsi, and Google, Microsoft and Intel, all major car makers and airlines, and so on?” Jon S

      Everything all in the fullness of time.

      BTW , if you are unhappy with the way BDS is run , why not join (Jews are allowed ) and have a voice.

      I hope you are keeping your illegal squat up to scratch for your eventual successor.Hell , maybe it will be the Original Legitimate owner.

      • jon s
        April 16, 2018, 2:49 pm

        amigo,
        My home is quite legal and we’re the original,legitimate, owners.

      • Mooser
        April 16, 2018, 3:45 pm

        “My home is quite legal and we’re the original,legitimate, owners.

        Oh, you bet. It was a people-less land for a landed people. The Jewish Agency put in utilities and surface streets, platted it all up, and offered lots for sale. Before that, it was just sorta there.

      • Maghlawatan
        April 16, 2018, 3:58 pm

        Property rights in Israel are conditional given the history. Whoever has the strongest army gets the land. Law does not mean a thing in Israel.

      • Mooser
        April 16, 2018, 4:02 pm

        “During the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, when military intelligence intercepted a telegram from Egyptian officers about plans to redeploy along the Beersheba-Gaza line, Yigal Allon proposed the conquest of Beersheba, which was approved by Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion.”

        Real “original and legitimate”
        Do you make mortgage payments to the IDF?

      • echinococcus
        April 16, 2018, 4:09 pm

        Amigo,

        if you are unhappy with the way BDS is run , why not join (Jews are allowed ) and have a voice

        Yarright. Don’t mind about “Jews” being allowed if enemies of Zionists, but the fact is that Zionists are allowed, too. Not only that, there are a lot of people inviting the enemy inside. To “have a voice”, no less.
        That’s the boycott that will give you beautiful results, if it continues like this. Mostly designed and directed by the Zionists, is that the idea?

      • Maghlawatan
        April 16, 2018, 4:17 pm

        Original : today is the anniversary of the Roman takeover at Masada. When a previous Jewish groupthink in the Middle East ended badly. It must be the heat that does it .

        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/16/day-ad-73roman-soldiers-breach-fearsome-masada-fortress-shocked/

    • Mooser
      April 15, 2018, 6:03 pm

      “Jon s”, the biggest form of BDS, which Zionism has no way of controlling, is when American Jews stop donating to Israel or Israel linked causes.

      • amigo
        April 16, 2018, 3:55 pm

        “My home is quite legal and we’re the original,legitimate, owners.” Jon S

        You keep telling yourself that Jon S.However , we both know there is a Palestinian Family somewhere who would claim otherwise.

        What amazes me , is how you manage to look in the mirror.

      • amigo
        April 16, 2018, 7:30 pm

        ” Mostly designed and directed by the Zionists, is that the idea?” Echi

        Jon S claims he is not a Zionist , although you would think otherwise , judging by his interactions with Annie up thread , see April; 18th 2.47 pm.and a couple of posts above that.

        Let,s face it , Zionists like Jon S would out themselves the first time they put forward an idea.

        Clearly the odd spy might infiltrate but you can,t carry out extreme vetting (to use a Trump line) on everyone. You can tell the serious BDS,r v a fake.

        Your concerns are unfounded.

      • jon s
        April 17, 2018, 2:42 am

        Sorry amigo, there’s no such Palestinian family.
        The place we live was previously uninhabited. It’s new construction which we bought from the construction company. You’re welcome to visit and see for yourself.

      • Mooser
        April 17, 2018, 11:53 am

        “Sorry amigo, there’s no such Palestinian family.
        The place we live was previously uninhabited. “

        Oh, I see, it was pretty much terra nullius wasn’t it? And it’s yours by right of cultivation, I mean, construction?

        Did you read out a pronoumcianta , too?

        “Jonny”, c’mon, spill the beans to a lantzmann. Do you believe the crap you spout, or did somebody with tell you the rest of us will be stupid enough to believe it?

        “You’re welcome to visit and see for yourself.”

        And that applies to Eritreans, too?

      • amigo
        April 17, 2018, 2:23 pm

        “Sorry amigo, there’s no such Palestinian family.
        The place we live was previously uninhabited. “Jon S

        ffs ,Jon S , someone owned that land before you zionists expelled (ethnically cleansed )the legitimate owners.

        In my country , receiving (includes purchasing ) stolen goods is a crime.You re a co conspirator in said crime.

        Your just lucky you live in a lawless nation/society and get away with it.

        You should be ashamed to even admit you live on someone else,s land but you are not . What does that say about your moral compass.

      • Mooser
        April 17, 2018, 4:27 pm

        Gee, the least “Jon s” could do is go back to the “We got Beersheba fair and square by conquest in the ’48 war” line.

      • Maghlawatan
        April 17, 2018, 5:06 pm

        Ancestral homeland means it’s yours, Mooser.
        take whatever you want.
        But you might have to use violence and then you can’t switch it off.
        Marinate for 70 years and get some guy who claims to be religious advocating genocide.

        It’s not all beer and skittles

  8. Mooser
    April 16, 2018, 4:14 pm

    “What amazes me , is how you manage to look in the mirror.”

    Where he sees the cool, clear eyes of a seeker of wisdom and truth;
    Yet there’s that upturned chin, and that grin of impetuous youth. He believes in him.

    It’s the face of a man who hopes to succeed in bullshit without really trying.

  9. amigo
    April 17, 2018, 5:27 pm

    “Gee, the least “Jon s” could do is go back to the “We got Beersheba fair and square by conquest in the ’48 war” line.” Mooser

    Jon S is aware of the “Inadmissibility of Territories Gained through war ” line so it,s better to stick to the “Land was uninhabited ” line.That also dovetails nicely with the ,”There are no Palestinians” so how could there have been a war.

    The Land was just sitting there and had gone unnoticed until Jon ,s ,s real estate agent showed up and staked a claim.

    The rest was easy.

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