Photo Credit: Israel's Consulate in New York
BDS demonstration in NY against the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra outside Carnegie Hall. February 2019

Correction: The first two paragraphs in this report erroneously stated the identity of the despicable group that demanded a boycott of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra over its alleged apartheid activities.

As we reported on Tuesday in a different article (Adalah-NY Demanding JPress Credit for Calling Israel’s Philharmonic Agent of Apartheid), the actual bunch of hateful anti-Semites were Adalah-NY.

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To remind you, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) universally accepted Working Definition of Anti-Semitism includes: Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor; and Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.

We chose to keep the offending two paragraphs intact with this correction above them to facilitate the reader’s understanding of the brouhaha:

[A few days before the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra performed on Sunday afternoon at Carnegie Hall in New York, a social protest was launched against the show led by a US extension of anti-Israel NGO Adalah.

According to NGO Monitor, In 2014, Adalah created the “Adalah Justice Project” (AJP), based in Boston, with the goal of transforming “American perception, policy and practice in Palestine/Israel into a human rights approach that guarantees historical justice and equality for all.” The organization calls for a cultural boycott of Israel and claims that “Israel’s science, culture and academia are trying to cover up its terrible crimes against humanity.” AJP Director Nadia Ben Youssef is still an employee of Adalah and regularly speaks on behalf of both organizations.]

Outside Carnegie Hall, dozens of protesters braved the freezing weather to demand the cancellation of the Israeli Philharmonic’s concert, as well as the banning of all Israeli culture.

The demonstrators aligned themselves in the shape of an orchestra, yelled slogans and carried signs that said Israeli cultural institutions like the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, which is part of the Israeli apartheid regime, should be boycotted; and the State of Israel harms Arab culture: it shuts down theaters, does not allow cultural events to exist, and prohibits Arab artists from touring.”

BDS demonstration against the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra outside Carnegie Hall / Israel’s Consulate in New York

We went to Wikipedia and looked up Arab orchestras that receive assistance from the Israeli government, and found the Nazareth Orchestra for Arab Music founded in 1990 by conductor and musicologist Soheil Radwan; the legendary Kol Israel Symphony Orchestra, run by Zuzu Musa, which operated from 1948 to 1993 and was replaced by the El Forq Orchestra, also financed by the government; an Arab-Jewish youth orchestra led by Soheil Radwan and Meir Wiesel, with musicians playing Western and Oriental instruments; and the Jewish-Arab ensemble – a project of Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra established in 2000 as part of its “Key” education program. The members of the ensemble are Philharmonic and Arab musicians.

It took us all of 10 minutes to research, write and edit the above paragraph. It’s a shame that those BDS demonstrators didn’t spend even that much in searching the web before going out to scream in the frozen Manhattan streets.

Faiza Rushdie and Zuzu Musa’s orchestra singing ‘Zai Yagoli’

Danny Dayan, Israel’s Consul General in New York said: “I am proud of the arrival of the Philharmonic Orchestra in the United States, Israeli culture is sought throughout the world and constitutes Israeli pride. This is not the first time that extremist anti-Israeli elements have organized a protest against Israeli culture. No protest will stop Israeli culture from flourishing in Israel and abroad.”

“The dogs bark and our melody continues,” Dayan concluded, combining two popular Israeli adages: one popularized by the late prime minister Yitzchak Shamir: “The dogs bark and the caravan continues”; the other “This melody cannot be stopped,” which was the title of a song popularized by the Israel Air Force entertainment band in 1974 and was made part of the epitaph on the tombstone of IAF commander General Benny Peled (1928 – 2002).

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