Israeli Philharmonic vs. Dismally Shrillmoronic – no contest

Jessica Goldfinch writes of the disruption of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra proms performance last week:

Considering IPO has links with these folks, it is clear who is for co-operation and peaceful activities:

This is what beauty looks and sounds like. It’s not a music-wash, it’s peace
in action. What a melding of the sounds – east, west, shared arabic roots!
We should be investing our energies into these types of activities.

Whilst SPSC and PSC and their GPEW supporters engage in protests, violent
words and ignoring evidence, they miss all of this beauty and the rest of
real folk on the ground are getting on with the business of ‘Real Progress’.


4 thoughts on “Israeli Philharmonic vs. Dismally Shrillmoronic – no contest

  1. Alan Howe

    The question I am asking myself is this: Has the Prom Stunt brought forward a resolution to the problem by one second, or has it alienated even more people to that objective, undermined those who are genuinely working for peace on the ground, and ensured that the problem will persist into the distant future?

    Personally, I think neither. At the end of the day it was just a childish schoolgirl prank which, despite the publicity, has already been forgotten and dismissed as irrelevant.

    1. Raphaël Lévy

      These few comments from a piece in the Guardian (yes, really, the Guardian) suggest it has been succesful in turning a few Palestinian supporters into BDS allergic:

      Extract: “The musicians kept smiling and played like demons. The protesters made it on to the 10 o’clock news: job done. But inside the hall, the two combined seemed to turn the audience – many of whom were no doubt sympathetic to the protesters – into avid supporters of the Israel Phil.”

      From the comment section of that piece:

      Leagality;2 September 2011 11:41AM
      “Whilst I agree with Emma’s assessment of the music last night – which was superb – I don’t agree with her view of the audience. Everyone round me in the Arena was angry at the protesters and antipathetic to their views and the way they expressed them. The protest was counter-productive: anyone in the audience who was sympathetic to the protesters’ views at the beginning of the concert wasn’t by the end.
      The best answer to the protesters, in any event, was the way that the IPO and Gil Shahan played. As Emma rightly indicates, their playing seemed, if anything, improved and enlivened by the protests.”

      jrawle; 2 September 2011 12:26PM
      “People either paid a lot of money to hear the concert, or spent half the afternoon queueing. They might be guests in our country. Going to be Proms may have been their attempt to experience something quintessentially British. But now, due to the actions of a small number of very selfish people, they have had their experience ruined. There was a young, foreign woman near me in the arena, attending on her own. When the first lot of idiots disrupted the first piece, she asked the man next to her who they were. Later on, when the next selfish people’s interruption was greeted with shouting, booing and slow clapping from the audience, she looked positively frightened. How can they do that to someone – no doubt something that was repeated across the arena? So well done protesters, you have made 1000s of people less sympathetic to your cause, spoiled their evening of music, and scared innocent visitors to this country who just wanted to see a concert. Hope you are feeling proud.”

      sceptic100; 2 September 2011 2:38PM

      “Thank you Erica for this subtle review. I believe that for many people the anger was about more than music being interrupted, annoying as that may be. A protest like this – where you take an extreme position, you shout and sing disruptively not just once but throughout the evening (so as to cause maximum offence to thousands of people), and you treat as irrelevant the consideration that an audience may wish, and may have the right, to be left alone – strikes me as being fundamentally selfish, and contrary to the true principle of free expression upon which it so heavily places reliace. And for some, the hateful chants were more sinister still, with the obvious echoes of the past.”

      durhamlad, 2 September 2011 4:13PM

      “I was unfortunate enough to be in the same row of the choir stalls occupied by the front row of “Ode to Joy” protestors. I was dismayed and disgusted by their juvenile protest. I have no idea what they hoped to achieve; their website says they are campaigning to build a mass anti-Apartheid movement for Palestine in which case they seem to have a funny way of going about it.

      Members of the audience did have to be separated from protesters prior to the latter being removed by security. I understand that the protesters – some 20 to 30 in total – continued their protest outside. Not surprisingly they had disappeared in to the night by the time the audience came out. Its curious the campaign has shown no responsibility for their actions today – perhaps they find it hard to justify and recognise the harm they have done.

      I have great sympathy with the Palestinian cause but do not accept the view that the IPO is somehow complicit in the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians. Indeed Zubin Mehta has called previously for a Palestinian state and for the wall of separation to be removed.

      The mood last night was ugly. Having called for a boycott it would seem that it had little effect and that the protesters decided they would try and disrupt the concert continually throughout its course. There is something paradoxical of a protest which can only muster some two dozen voices trying to shout down an orchestra being listened to by thousands. So much for their frail concept of democracy and freedom.

      They have set back the Palestinian cause in this country by years having tainted it with intolerance and anti-social behaviour. The Palestinians deserve better.”
      remo55; 2 September 2011 6:37PM

      “In the night in question, I was sitting in the circle (but luckily not next to the protesters), so I had a full view of all the antics. At first I found the mode of protest disorienting at best, even though I might be classified as one of those who are indeed sympathetic to the Palestinian cause

      Having said that, I became increasingly upset and angry at the protesters as they were impinging not only on the rights of the audience to concentrate on and listen to what should have been the focus of the evening, that is to say MUSIC, but on the right of the musicians to perform it. If Ms Jeal is right, and the protests gave punch to Gil Shaham’s interpretation of the Bruch, I would have preferred one with no such need of ‘push’. I truly admired Zubin Metha’s composure throughout the evening and I profoundly admire his musical involvement with both sides in the middle east ( let’s not forget he has created Mifneh , a musical program for young Israeli Arabs.)

      Ultimately I believe that art and politics really ought not to mix.”

  2. Isca Stieglitz

    Ditto above.

    I’ve been told that I’m ‘naive’…there are worse things to be I suppose. It is true that I have peaceful and naive thoughts, which helps ameliorate anger and frustration.

    However, my experiences in Israel, (observed and intensely personal), and continued contact with groups and folks across the ‘divides’ has meant that i am certainly not ‘naive’ in the real world sense.


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