‘Zio-pressure’ reportedly scotches anti-Zionist musicians’ church gig in Rochester, N.Y.

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Rich Siegel is a New Jersey musician whom we wrote about a few weeks back in connection with being harassed for his bumperstickers. He sends along the following report. I’m leaving out some of the phone numbers because… well, the enterprising can be enterprising on their own.

Hello Friends- 

I have just been informed that a concert and presentation that was scheduled to be given this coming Tuesday night at First Unitarian Church in Rochester, NY, by jazz saxophonist and noted Israeli Anti-Zionist Gilad Atzmon, and myself, is being canceled due to pressure from a local rabbi.

The concert was organized and promoted by Dan McGowan, founder and chairman of Deir Yassin Remembered, along with a second concert in Geneva, NY, which is going on as scheduled on Wednesday night. Dan was given two reasons for the concert cancellation: 1) that there are going to be activities in adjacent rooms and the noise level of the concert would interfere, and 2) admitted pressure from Rabbi Laurence A. Kotok of Temple B’rith Kodesh to cancel the event. Reason 1 was hardly believable, as the concert has been planned for about two months. Surely someone would have thought of this. 

Dan was very smart and gave them the opportunity to have the event at a different venue, or to take the music out of the event and make it just spoken presentations given by the three of us- Dan, Gilad, and myself. He was turned down. So it is clear that the real reason for the cancellation is Zio-pressure. 

The parties who are caving to Zio-pressure are as follows:

John Keevert, chair of local Social Justice Council, co-sponsor of the event. 

Ron Johnson, representative of First Unitarian Church, co-sponsor and venue for the event.

The First Unitarian Church, Co-Ministers, Scott Taylor and Kaaren Anderson.

Tell them that this event must go on, either at the church or at another venue in Rochester- that they must not let Zio-pressure kick us out of Rochester.

The rabbi who has instigated this cancellation is Rabbi Laurence A. Kotok of Temple B’rith Kodesh.

Tell them that Jewish Anti-Zionists have the same right to free speech as everyone else, and that their attempt to squash our free speech is a disgrace. Thank you, -Rich Siegel

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