Friday, May 6, 2011

Riverdance to Defy Israel Boycotters

It didn't seem to bother anyone when Riverdance performed in China.
In the face of the Tony Kushner debacle, which in my opinion was a waste of pro-Israel political capital, we must remember that the other side -- the demonizers -- are continuously on the prowl for another opportunity to pursue the cultural isolation of Israel.

So, we have the recent announcement that Riverdance is planning a September tour of Israel and, naturally, PACBI and friends have already loaded their guns. They've enlisted Riverdance's set designer, Robert Ballagh, who signed an Irish artist's pledge to boycott Israel explaining it thus in an open letter:

"I, along with many other Irish creative and performing artists, signed a cultural boycott pledge not to visit Israel. This was a positive response to the call by Palestinian filmmakers, artists and cultural organisations for a cultural boycott of Israel. I believe that this non-violent cultural boycott will contribute to the struggle for justice for the Palestinian people.
“Because I have signed up to support the cultural boycott I will not be travelling to Israel with Riverdance.” 
Ballagh said his decision to support the boycott was inspired by a meeting with Nelson Mandela, who told him the sporting and cultural boycott of South Africa was an essential weapon in the struggle against apartheid.
For they're part, Riverdance's management have issued the following statement in defiance of the boycott:
"The upcoming inaugural visit by Riverdance to Israel follows an invitation by an independent concert promoter to perform in three cities next September and this tour will allow all Israeli citizens experience a show that has been seen live by over 22 million people across 35 countries for the past 16 years.
"Riverdance supports the policy of the Irish Government and indeed the policy of every other EU state that cultural interaction is preferable to isolation."
So, there.

Update: I hadn't realized that the ever-lovin', Israel-hatin' Anglican vicar, Stephen Sizer, is urging Riverdance to boycott Israel. Now I'll be watching this story diligently for further news.

5 comments:

  1. disgraceful decision by Riverdance to tour Israel , as an Irish citizen I would like to see Riverdance withdraw from this tour in recognition of the innocents murdered by the IDF during opertaion Cast Lead , and the continuing ILLEGAL mass punishment of those people living in Gaza. Hundreds of innocent childern will never dance , we must never forget that crime.

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  2. I would like to think that you have as much compassion for the citizens of southern Israel who were bombarded by thousands of rockets aimed specifically at civilians in the years that led up to Operation Cast Lead. I would also like to think that you deplore the way Hamas sites it's military infrastructure within densely populated civilian areas in Gaza so as to use those people as human shields and maximize large numbers of civilian deaths. I'd like to think that you also deplore the captivity of Gilad Shalit who has not been allowed a visit from the Red Cross during his 5 years as Hamas's hostage. However, I know I'm just fooling myself in hoping that your belief in human rights extend to Israelis too.

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    1. Do you actually expect educated people to believe the rubbish that you propogate, Israel stands before the entire world as the greatest abuser of human rights in existance, to invade palestine from europe and beyond forcing people from their homes in a pogram of murder torture rape theft and abuse and follow this up with a massive propoganda exercise that you have just added your 2 shekels to is a shocking. Take a look at the actual statistics you brainless fascist moron.

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  3. "an Irish citizen" sure..

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  4. Dear Anonymous - I only publish your comment so that readers can see how preposterous is your stance on Israel. Do something good for a change and organize a mass protest against the massacres taking place in Syria.

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