Monday, September 1, 2008

Anti-Israel Protest Is Countered by Standing Ovation

Anti-Israel Protest Is Countered by Standing Ovation - Tim Cornwell

Protesters who interrupted a concert by Israeli musicians five times Friday sparked outrage - but the audience for the recital, by the Jerusalem Quartet as part of the Edinburgh International Festival, responded with a standing ovation. Five Scottish protesters stood up, one after another, at the concert in the Queen's Hall to disrupt the performance, denouncing "Israeli army musicians," before being bundled out and arrested. But the audience rallied to the musicians - two of whom are members of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, established to promote harmony between Israeli and Arab musicians and cultures. Scotsman music critic Susan Nickalls called it "absolutely disgraceful.... Even if one might have sympathy with the Palestinian cause, this was not the platform. The audience had come to hear an uncontroversial program of Brahms, Smetana and Haydn, not the views of political activists."


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