Ben-Gurion University of the Negev announced Sunday that a student dance troupe that was scheduled to perform next week at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland. According to a statement released by the Univeristy, the decision was taken in light of the intentions of anti-Israel protesters to demonstrate against Operation Protective Edge and at the urging of the venue’s operator.
“The personal safety of the members of the dance company is the most important factor and we will certainly not compromise on that in any way. We received warnings that their participation could endanger the dancers, therefore, in consultation with the relevant parties, we made the hard decision not to send the company to the planned performances in Edinburgh,” explained BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi.
“It is a shame that this is the state of affairs – where artistic freedom of expression is being sorely tested. The company has no connection to politics, but everything has become highly politicized. Considering the quality of the company, its withdrawal from the festival is a loss to all art lovers and we are dismayed at the necessity, Carmi adeded.
Anti–Israel protesters threatened to burn down a shop and kill the staff of a cosmetics store in Manchester that sells Israeli cosmetics.
According to a report in the Jewish Chronicle and noted in a JTA report, local police are investigating the ongoing threats of the shop called Kedem. Anti-Israel protesters have disturbed business at the shop since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge, and six people have been arrested.
In addition, pro-Palestinian protesters also have posted threatening messages on the store’s Facebook page.
Also in Manchester, two 13-year-olds were charged last week with damaging for vandalizing gravestones last month at a Jewish cemetery. The gravestones at the Rochdale Road cemetery were painted with swastikas and anti-Semitic graffiti, and about 40 markers were toppled.
JTA reported that Israeli tourists in the Maldives had to be evacuated from the island nation after an Israeli surfer removed an anti-Israel sign placed outside a guest house.
The tourists were evacuated earlier this week from Kaafu Thulusdhoo Island by security services after protesters on the island called for their removal and protesters from other places began converging on the island, according to minivannews.com.
The sign, outside a guest house owned by Mohamed Hashim, featured a swastika next to an Israeli flag. The tourist ripped it in half, according to the report. Hashim told the news service that about 60 percent of the bookings in his guest house are Israelis.
Following the evacuation of the tourists, a protest was held in the Maldives capital of Male, during which an Israeli flag was burned. The protest follows a pro-Palestinian protest held earlier this month in Male, attended by about 13,000 people.
Maldives, which resumed diplomatic relations with Israel in 2009, last week annulled all cooperation agreements signed with Israel and announced a boycott of Israeli products.
Meir Halevi Siegel
About the Author: Meir is a news writer for JewishPress.com - and he loves his job.
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