Israel,  Music

“Mashing together philistinism with… Israel Intolerance”

Video from Thursday evening’s disruption of the Israel Philharmonic’s performance at the Royal Albert Hall.

Note especially the dignity of the violin soloist in the first video as he calmly plays through the haters’ efforts to drown him out. If you knew nothing about the issues involved, whose side would you spontaneously take?

If you are wondering what the disrupters are singing in the second video, I believe it is Beethoven’s Ode to Joy with nasty and unimaginative lyrics. If you want, you can hear it at Socialist Unity, which apparently considers it a worthy contribution to the struggle against Zionism.

Writing at The Telegraph, Brendan O’Neill gets it right:

This has gone way beyond a normal political boycott, of the kind used by radicals in the past to put economic or political pressure on a section of the authorities. Rather, the aversion to everything Israeli has become a weird way of life for some people, where the aim is not so much to achieve any political goals as it is to achieve an inner sensation of super moral smugness. They treat Israel as a uniquely evil, fantastically wicked nation, the most evil nation on Earth in fact, if not in human history, whose every product and thought must be kept at bay. There is a deeply censorious streak in all this. In refusing to engage with Israeli academics and now trying to shut up Israeli musicians, anti-Israel protesters undermine academic and artistic freedom – they stand in the way of the free exchange of ideas and even of music between peoples and nations. Their attempt to shut up the Israeli Phil was especially shocking, since the sound being made by that orchestra did not even contain any ideas, only beauty. Mashing together philistinism with high levels of that trendy malady, Israel Intolerance, these protesters sought to prevent the playing of music purely on the basis of who was playing it – people from Israel.

(Hat tip: Jonathan Sacerdoti)