Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Boycott Victorious... Er... Well...

The BBC tells the tale of a British Choir that set up a tour of six concerts in Israel, then tried to set some up some additional ones in the West Bank.

Nope. The Palestinians decided to boycott the choir, in spite of the fact that it's director, one Tim Brown, says he's actually on their side:

The choir's director says his frustration is borne of what he describes as his own pro-Palestinian stance: he has taught and performed with Palestinian musicians. Mr Brown was very keen for his students to see the West Bank barrier and, as he put it, the "privations" caused by the Israeli occupation. Betty Hunter, the general secretary of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, says that desire to travel to the West Bank does not excuse the choir's tour of Israel. That tour, she says, is "surprising and shocking" - something which, in her words, "promotes Israel as a normal state rather than one which represses Palestinians".

Jeffrey Goldberg blogs on this from a position of ridicule. Mondoweiss, predictably, approves, calling the story the "boycott's latest victory". A Mondoweiss regular commenter, one "Potsherd",asks why Israel would have the singers in the first place:

Is it not a Jewish State? Is it not busily engaged in purging all aspects of Christianity and its subversive Christmas manifestations? Are its puritan zealots not making war on Santa Claus and Christmas trees, which aren’t Christian at all? How much more so must they purge performances of the music of Bach, which is flagrantly Christian, which mentions. (making me wonder why Bach and not Handel’s Messiah)
You've got to admire these folks' firm grasp on the reality they pontificate about incessantly.

Me, I'm mostly amused. Some of the score keepers seem to have lost their instructions. The purpose of the boycott, if it has one beyond merely being spiteful, is to quarantine Israel, hurt it's economy, and force it into siege. (I think these are the goals). In this particular "victory", the pro-Palestinian choir master and his charges, some of whom may agree with him, will be singing six times before Israeli audiences who may even turn out to be cultured and reasonably human, and they'll not be preforming to any Palestinians. Did I miss something?

PS. The reason, of course, being money. They'll sell far more tickets in six Israeli concerts than in two Palestinian ones. Such an unseemly consideration.


Anonymous said...

How cruel of reality to refute beliefs.

Btw: Is it only me, or is anyone else under the impression that SoWTOP – Solidarity With The Oppressed Palestinians – shows more and more traits of a religion?


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately the choir master will probably find excuses for the Palestinians rather than examine what happened to the Jenin orchestra.
Odd that the BBC has so quickly fogotten a rather obvious comparison with that incident.

Empress Trudy said...

I eagerly awaiting the warbling Palestinian cries of 'cultural apartheid'. You know it's coming.

Anonymous said...

The other thing is, that if Tim Brown never schedules another round of concerts in Israel, the Palestinians will indeedhave 'won'. Just because he'll go ahead with this round doesn't mean he won't find some excuse not to go on another. It would be an interesting question to ask him.

NormanF said...

The Palestinians would rather give Israel all the publicity, money and goodwill that would usually accrue to them. Some "boycott" there.

May there be many more "boycotts" like this one!