Campaigners raise new questions about Batsheva funding

Some 150 protesters picketed Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre on a cold and wet Tuesday evening calling for a boycott of Israel state-funded dance company Batsheva.  Four Israel supporters attended a counter-demonstration.  Batheva’s performance was interrupted by protests at least eight times while a good number who had bought tickets turned over their tickets to the protesters after learning of Batsheva’s link to the Israeli government.

In August, hundreds protested outside Batsheva’s Edinburgh International Festival performances over three nights and scores disrupted the performances inside Edinburgh Playhouse.

Batsheva is promoted by, and receives the bulk of its funding from, the Israeli State as part of their ‘Brand Israel’ project, which the campaign group Don’t Dance with Israeli Apartheid describes as an attempt to detract from Israel’s crimes.  Campaigners are now raising questions about other sources of Batsheva funding, which include Israeli armaments companies Eastronics and IDB International.  The Jewish National Fund, accused by campaigners of complicity with racist Israeli land policies and whose UK branch lost David Cameron’s patronage last year, is another donor.

Kate Logan of Don’t Dance with Israeli Apartheid said, “Batsheva is explicitly linked to the state of Israel, and the latest information we have on links to armaments companies and the JNF confirms our position.  Our campaign engaged directly with Batsheva’s artistic direct Ohad Naharin in August and we’re disappointed that he has refused to continue that discussion.  We now know that Naharin’s claim to be concerned with the situation of Palestinians and appeal to engage us in dialogue is not sincere.”

During the Q&A session following last night’s performance in Edinburgh an one audience member asked if the Batsheva representatives thought it was acceptable to tour using Israeli state funding in the same week that Israel is carrying out air strikes in Gaza.  Logan reports that, “when the woman was shouted down by the audience, Naharin did not challenge this behaviour and declined to engage with the question.  This casts serious doubt on Naharin’s so-called commitment to ‘dialogue’”.

Protests will continue tonight at the Festival Theatre and are expected across the country at all venues hosting Batsheva’s UK tour.

This entry was posted in Boycott Israel, Edinburgh, Events and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Campaigners raise new questions about Batsheva funding

  1. ohad naharin says:

    i am very surprised to hear that you think that i am not open for dialogue. ask 
    Naomi Wimborne- Idrissi she has many communications from me, last one was
    today…
    batsheva is not a part of brand Israel.
    in fact i only heard of it through protest’s publicity material! we do how ever show
    that there is another side to Israel. that should make us hopeful and optimistic.
    and you and every body else should protect us and encourage us to bring our
    artistic and human message.
    this is not a cover up to the wrong doing of our government, one must be blind to
    see us and what we do as such. in our work and philosophy we encourage yielding,
    generosity. listening, caring for the weak, dialogue, equality and freedom of
    expression. we are the Israelis whom your organization should support! we are
    the Israelis who belong to growing number of people who can make the difference
    and bring a change. it is not obvious to see, much easier is to see us as you and your
    colleagues have chosen, yet, look further and you might see that supporting us
    will do much better for the world then a boycotting dose….

    ….the complex of the situation is huge, the intolerable situation in the west bank is
    tragic, yet, disturbing our performances only show that some times we let our
    frustrations make us lose clarity and make us take actions that promote little for the
    Palestinian’s cause and damage to others.

    it will be the happiest day of my life to witness the signing of peace agreement with a
    Palestinian state. i often said to friends that i am not only ready to give land, i am ready
    to give up my house for peace.

    as for the woman that was there last night i have encouraged her to speak and ask the
    audience to hear her. i answer her in length (enclosed) when she wanted to continue i
    have explain that other people has questions and that ill be happy to meet with her after,
    she refused and left. if i had a way i would seek her up since i was touched by how
    sincere she was. here is an article that is quoting some of what i said yesterday.
    and if you would know me and if you were there last night you would not say things like;
    We now know that Naharin’s claim to be concerned with the situation of Palestinians
    and appeal to engage us in dialogue is not sincere. you would know that the opposite is the
    truth…

    http://thomdibdin.co.uk/anti-israel-protesters-target-batsheva-dance/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *