Protest against Israeli dance company L-E-V, 9-12 August

Edinburgh Action for Palestine is calling for protests outside the Kings Theatre during the performances of Israeli dance company L-E-V, part of the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF). Thursday 9 August – Sunday 12 August, from 7pm until 8pm each evening.

We have previously outlined support and sponsorship which L-E-V performances have received from Israeli embassies and consulates around the world – https://edinburghaction4palestine.org/2018/07/12/stop-israels-cultural-whitewash-of-apartheid/

By accepting this support L-E-V is complicit in Israel’s use of culture to normalise perception of the state of Israel – 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.

Consequently we protest at the presence of L-E-V at the festival.

Other high profile Israeli citizens have recently chosen to distance themselves from the actions of the Israeli state. We met with the director of EIF, Fergus Linehan, and suggested that L-E-V might similarly wish to distance themselves, offering to meet the company. They have declined to respond.

In April 2018, actress Natalie Portman, a US and Israeli citizen, was awarded the Genesis Prize but refused to attend the ceremony, stating:

“I chose not to attend because I did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu, who was to be giving a speech at the ceremony. ….

But the mistreatment of those suffering from today’s atrocities is simply not in line with my Jewish values.”

As reported in the Guardian newspaper on 20 April 2018 (https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/apr/20/natalie-portman-israel-genesis-prize), Portman’s representative said: “[R]ecent events in Israel have been extremely distressing to her and she does not feel comfortable participating in any public events in Israel” and that “she cannot in good conscience move forward with the ceremony”.

Similarly, Daniel Barenboim, a conductor & musician who holds Israeli citizenship, recently wrote an Op-ed in the Guardian newspaper on 23 July, 2018, distancing himself from the current Israeli regime. (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/23/israel-racist-new-law-ashamed-apartheid-daniel-barenboim)

He concluded his piece by saying –

Yet nothing has really changed since 2004. Instead, we have a law that confirms the Arab population as second-class citizens. It follows that this is a very clear form of apartheid. I don’t think the Jewish people lived for 20 centuries, mostly through persecution and enduring endless cruelties, in order to become the oppressors, inflicting cruelty on others. This new law does exactly that. Therefore, I am ashamed of being an Israeli today.”

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