The first-ever Irish dance festival set to take place in Israel was terrorized away from Tel Aviv thanks to a campaign of threats to the performers, the school, and a “standard” BDS (boycott, divest and sanctions) petitions.
The Israeli Feis, scheduled to take place in Tel Aviv next month, was targeted by the Irish Palestinian Activists Collective who began the #DontDanceForIsrael campaign.
An online petition against organizers of the feis and supporting “the appeal of the Palestinian people to Boycott, Divest and Sanction, BDS, the Apartheid state of Israel” was also launched by Amanda Crawford in Dublin.
The Irish Friends of Palestine, whose Facebook page had garnered 12,575 “Likes” by Wednesday, posted a statement calling the cancellation of the event a #BDS Victory Ireland.
In a statement announcing its cancellation of the event, the Carey Academy explained, “Not long ago the feis [FaceBook] page started to be attacked by a radical political group called Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) led by Raymond Deane, Kevin Squires and Amanda Crawford. Threatening messages were sent not only to our teachers, but also parents and students.
“Age, nationality, or religious beliefs do not matter to us. Unfortunately, there was a protest outside of our dance studio. We do not want to risk safety of anyone connected to the Carey Academy. The feis was not meant to be anything more than what it really is – a celebration of dancing, friendship and joy.
“We are sorry for any inconvenience caused to people who may have already booked tickets, but I am sure you understand the safety of our dancers is our number one priority.”
The Academy had previously stated that “running a feis in Israel does not mean we support or are involved with the Israeli government or any extremist groups in any way shape or form.”Hana Levi Julian