Palestine and the Philadelphia Orchestra


Section of entrance area blocked off
On 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.  

in front of entrance
We 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 Israel.
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 border.   

Looking Northwards
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.

I 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.

facing street
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.

Like 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.

facing street
C-J Allies