Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Israel Philharmonic v Philistine Solidarity

IPO concert for Gilad Shalit in July 5, 2010 conducted by Zubin Mehta to mark
the 4th anniversary of his captivity by Hamas.

The Israel Philharmonic is spending February and early March touring the US. Called by the NY Times a "powerful, indefatigable ensemble," it is marking the 75th anniversary of its founding and the 50th anniversary of the music director Zubin Mehta’s debut conducting the orchestra.

Naturally, PACBI (Palestinian Campaign for Cultural Boycott of Israel) is urging its supporters to, "Bring your pots and pans, kazoos, ukeleles, whistles, creativity and everything else needed for a cacaphonic protest" of the perfidious agent of propaganda.

Ironically, PACBI can't help but describe the orchestra in glowing terms while accusing it of complicity in Israel's crimes: "Often said to have more heart than other orchestras, the IPO is Israel’s finest cultural emissary and travels throughout the world, particularly to countries where there is little or no Israeli representation. In some cases, performances of the IPO are the only example of Israel’s existence. The goodwill created by these tours, which have included historic visits to Japan, Argentina, Poland, Hungary, Russia, China and India, is of enormous value to the State of Israel. As a result, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra maintains its position at the forefront of cultural diplomacy and the international music scene." 

So far, the boycott call has been ignored in Florida. In America's greatest city last night, all of 70 protested outside Carnegie Hall believing that, according to one of the organizers from Adalah-NY, “Tonight we sent a clear message to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Israeli government’s “Brand Israel” campaign that their music cannot drown out Palestinians’ calls for justice.” Sure you did. They apparently didn't get the memo that to "get to Carnegie Hall you have to practice, practice, practice." 

The symphony will next go to the West Coast. We shall see how successful the smear campaign will be on that slightly more slavish side of the country.

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