London Indymedia

Protesters disrupt performance by the Jerusalem Quartet in support of a boycott of Israel

Global Intifada | 08.05.2012 19:12 | Anti-militarism | Anti-racism | Palestine | London | South Coast | World

Protesters have disrupted the performance of the Jerusalem Quartet, a group of musicians with links to the Israeli state, in support of the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions.



The Jerusalem String Quartet’s recital at the Brighton Festival on May 8th was interrupted by protesters objecting to Israel’s apartheid system, its illegal occupation of Palestinian lands, its attacks on civilians in Gaza and its suppression of Palestinian human rights in Israel and the Occupied territories.

The action was taken in line with the call from Palestinian civil society for a boycott of state-supported cultural events. The call is available at

A spokesperson for the protesters said, ‘These musicians are cultural ambassadors for an apartheid state and as such should not be performing at the Brighton Festival .The Festival Guest Director’s mission statement affirms that the role of the festival is to ‘remind us of .. the positive changes we can all make to improve our world for future generations.’ Using music to whitewash the apartheid state of Israel should have no place here.’

Information for editors:

Art and culture have become an important weapon in the Israeli government's public relations campaign, and in 2006, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched an initiative called "Brand Israel," to salvage Israel's deteriorating image abroad. Arye Mekel of Israel's Foreign Ministry has stated that, "We will send well-known novelists and writers overseas, theater companies, exhibits... This way you show Israel's prettier face, so we are not thought of purely in the context of war."

The home base of the Jerusalem String Quartet, the Jerusalem Music Centre[1], is prominently featured on the Foreign Ministry website and boasts that it collaborates with several Israeli government ministries,[2] clearly placing the quartet and the other participating cultural institutions in the orbit of the campaign to "re-brand" Israel's image in the West. Thus, Israel is portrayed as an enlightened centre of arts and technology, thereby concealing the ugly facts about its occupation, racial discrimination and grave violations of international law and fundamental Palestinian rights.

The America-Israel Cultural Foundation, a main funder of the Jerusalem String Quartet, has taken as its mission the support of musicians and artists in order to put a different spin on the Israeli apartheid regime."AICF plays a vital role in Israeli culture. We are the primary source of funding for young artists. These artists show the world a side of Israel many never experience."[3]

It is no wonder that the Jerusalem String Quartet has a link to the America-Israel Cultural Foundation on its website. All four of the quartet members received scholarships from the foundation; and the instruments used by three of them are on loan from the AICF.

Through its patronage of young artists like these, the AICF advances its agenda. In turn, by its close ties with and promotion of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, the young artists of the Jerusalem String Quartet become part of the Israel re-branding campaign and are complicit in the attempt to obscure Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights.

For information on the academic and cultural boycott of Israel see

For more information: 07858630718

[1] The Quartet notes on its website that its home base is the Jerusalem Music Center:

[2] See

[3] See

Global Intifada


Hide the following 4 comments

Now five disruptions

08.05.2012 19:55

there have now been five separate disruptions

Global Intifada

"Beautiful music can't disguise Israel's occupation of Palestine"

08.05.2012 20:54

At night Israeli artists want to perform with us and in the morning they serve in the army. What is the use of going on producing art when deep down they know they are breaking basic human rights by supporting the occupation and its apartheid regime and settlements? Israelis need to work inside their own society; changes have to occur on the ground in Israel for there to be real justice.

Iman Aoun, artistic director of Palestinian theatre company Ashtar, speaking in support of cultural BDS.

Good action folks

The Jerusalem Quartet - Joining the Troops

08.05.2012 21:09

If one minute they're in T-shirts and the next in ties and jackets, these days they can just as frequently be seen in army fatigues. Last year they were inducted into the Israeli Defense Forces and endured a month of basic training. Bressler (second violin) says his only fear then was that something would happen to his hands.

The Quartet now serves as Distinguished Musicians, performing for troops three times a week. Recitals are laced with explanations. Not intending to produce subscribers to the Philharmonic, Gross says they simply want their fellow troops to appreciate classical music. And to a large extent they have been successful.

For the three immigrants, carrying a rifle in one hand and a violin in the other is the ultimate Zionist statement. "It's something our parents could hardly have imagined ten years ago," says Zlotnikov.


Good action folks

More pics and video

09.05.2012 07:59

Global Intifada


South Coast

Other UK IMCs
Bristol/South West
Northern Indymedia

London Topics

Animal Liberation
Climate Chaos
Energy Crisis
Free Spaces
Ocean Defence
Other Press
Public sector cuts
Social Struggles
Terror War
Workers' Movements

London IMC


About | Contact
Mission Statement
Editorial Guidelines
Publish | Help

Search :