Dear Mr Linehan
Thank you for your reply to our email about the L-E-V dance company.
The issue we raised about this dance company is not about the ‘nationality, country of residence or ethnic, religious or cultural background’ of the dancers, the issue is about sponsorship and support from a state which is in breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, in violation of numerous UN resolutions and stands accused of serious human rights abuses by groups including Amnesty International.
Thank you for assuring us that the L-E-V performances in Edinburgh will not receive funding from the Israeli government, however our research shows that the company has received support and sponsorship from the Israeli government over a number of years.
A few examples include:
- As recently at 9 July, 2018, the cultural Facebook page of the Israeli Embassy in the UK wrote of L-E-V’s performance at Sadlers Wells, “We are very excited for #Israelidance company, L-E-V’s ‘Love Chapter 2’.” CultureIL
- Referring to this same event, Evelyn Coster Deputy Spokesperson at the Israeli embassy in London tweeted “Sadler’s Wells has announced that #Israeli#dancecompany L-E-V will return for a performance- 13th & 14th JULY .@Sadlers_WellsL-E-V-Love Chapter 2” https://twitter.com/evelyncoster/status/976058731120209920
- In Canada in November 2017 the company’s performance at the Babs Asper Theater (The National Arts Centre) in Ottowa was sponsored by the Embassy of Israel in Canada. https://nac-cna.ca/en/event/15920
- In the US in November 2017 the company’s performance in Seattle was promoted by the Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest. http://embassies.gov.il/san-francisco/calendar-of-events/Pages/L-E-V-OCD-Love-Seattle.aspx
- In France in June 2016 the company’s performance in Montpellier was supported by the Israeli Consulate in Montpellier and the Israeli Embassy in Paris. http://embassies.gov.il/marseille/NewsAndEvents/Pages/Sharon-Eyal-Gai-Behar.aspx
- In the US in October 2015 the company’s performance in Portland, Oregon was sponsored by the Oregon Israel Business Alliance with support from the Consulate General of Israel to the Pacific Northwest. https://www.whitebird.org/event/l-e-v-israel/
L-E-V has clearly been happy to accept support and sponsorship over the years from the Israeli state. We believe that under the boycott criteria to which we referred in our previous correspondence, namely that they are ‘complicit in maintaining the Israeli occupation and denial of basic Palestinian rights, … through their silence or … whitewashing or otherwise deliberately diverting attention from Israel’s violations of international law and human rights.’ L-E-V should be boycotted.
We would be happy to meet to discuss this or future Festival events.