Palestine and the Philadelphia Orchestra
the third protest in front of the Kimmel Center, the police acted to
reduce the area where we could protest. specifically, they blocked us
from using the title of the center as a backdrop. The group was reduced
in size because the protest was held on a Saturday. When will the next
one be held? You can subscribe to the list serve for Philadelphia Don't Orchestrate Apartheid or check out their Facebook page here.
The news on the Palestinian protest
at the Gaza-Israel border was that two were killed and 40 wounded, all
on the Palestinian side. The Israeli side has complained of
Palestinians throwing rocks and molotov cocktails (stuff a rag halfway
into a gasoline-filled bottle, light the rag and throw), but have
reported no casualties for the entire four weeks that residents of Gaza
have been protesting at the border.
had the head of the Philadelphia Orchestra walk through on the way to
the concert. He frowned and tried to stay as unnoticed as possible, but
demonstrators recognized him and hollered "Shame!" The Orchestra is
determined to play in Israel anyway, despite BDS, the "Boycott,
Divestment, Sanctions" movement that's asking for a cultural boycott of
What was probably the biggest news on the BDS front was that the actress Natalie Portman,
who has spoken out against BDS, has refused a cultural award that
offered $2 million. Her stated reason was that she'd have to accept the
award while standing next to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom
she just can't stand. Her statement also referred to
"Recent events in Israel" that have been "extremely distressing to
her," suggesting that she opposes the shooting of Palestinians on the
Explanation of protest.
Film clips of protest.
Prominent Likud Party member of the Israeli parliament Oren Hazan took great exception to Portman;s action and called for to be stripped of her Israeli citizenship
Yousef Munayyer, an Israeli-born Palestinian, points out that Actually, Natalie Portman, You ARE Practicing BDS.
think I’m on safe footing when I surmise that your issue with Netanyahu
is not personal. It is not about his choice of hair dye or persistent
use of lame gimmicks and sound bites during his speeches, but about the
politics and policies he embodies — policies which violate
international law and the basic rights of Palestinians, executed by the
Israeli state every day. And in refusing to condone these policies and
their champion, you are signaling that you recognize that the Israeli
state doesn’t believe that their policies are a problem.
Robert A.H. Cohen contributes: Dear Natalie Portman, your liberal Zionism won’t save your Jewish values
I too thought a change of leadership and a change of policies could fix things.
I don’t think that anymore.
you, I care about “Jewish values” but I long ago gave up on the idea
that Israel, and the Zionism that created and sustains the Jewish
State, would protect those values.