Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

13 Nov, 2014

NY Activists Plan Protest against Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company in Brooklyn

NEW YORK, November 12, 2014 (WAFA) – Adalah-NY and other human rights activists will hold a protest on Wednesday evening in front of the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) against the U.S. premiere of Israeli Batsheva Dance Company’s ‘Sadeh21”, for its complicity in Israel’s violations of international law and refusal to take a stand against Israel’s measures against Palestinians.

They will protest with ‘Dabke dance’ and music in front of the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Wednesday said a press release issued by Adalah-NY, the New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel.

This performance, part of BAM’s 2014 Next Wave Festival, is also part of the “Brand Israel” initiative designed to distract from the facts of Israel’s ongoing occupation and colonization of Palestinian land, and its denial of rights to Palestinians the world over.

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs touts Batsheva as ‘perhaps the best known global ambassador of Israeli culture.’ Batsheva is funded in part by that government office as well as by the Ministry of Culture and Sports. While Batsheva artistic director Ohad Naharin has criticized Israeli abuses of Palestinians, Batsheva Dance Company continues in its role as a prominent cultural ambassador of the Israeli state.

Wednesday night’s protest is part of the global movement of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and ends abuses against the Palestinian people.

The Palestinian civil society call for BDS includes boycotting Israeli academic and cultural institutions, such as the Batsheva Dance Company, that are complicit in Israel’s violation of international law and denial of Palestinian rights, and that refuse to take a stand against Israel’s systematic discrimination against the Palestinians living in the Occupied Territories, within Israel, and as refugees in the Diaspora.

In 2012, during Batsheva’s last engagement in New York City, also at BAM, Adalah-NY wrote to BAM administrators asking them to cancel the performance (first letter, second letter) before organizing a demonstration.

That same year, thirty human rights organizations from around North America sent a letter to Batsheva demanding that they take a stand against the violations of human rights being perpetrated by their government that impact all segments of Palestinian society, including cultural workers. Batsheva made no response.

Adalah-NY is also organizing a protest next Tuesday, November 18, at the concert of the Touré-Raichel Collective, which features another premiere Israeli ‘cultural ambassador,’ musician Idan Raichel.