Israeli show cancelled at Edinburgh Fringe

Anti-Israel protestors have forced the cancellation of ‘The City’, a show produced by Jerusalem-based Incubator Theatre, and part-funded by the Israeli government. The campaign was led by several leading Scottish writers, including Alaisdair Gray and Liz Lochhead.

Dozens of members of the Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign showed up to picket the performance, demonstrating against Israel’s policies in Gaza. It is understood that up to 15 other shows were affected by the noise from the protests with some forced to offer refunds.

While people should be allowed to demonstrate and communicate their objections to the show, or to Israel’s actions, it is deplorable that they have managed to shut down ‘The City’ against the wishes of the venue, the company, and of course all who wanted to see the performance.

Still more appalling have been the death threats received by staff at a Manchester shop, Kedem, which sells Israeli cosmetics.

In recordings of phone calls obtained by the JC, a man told a Kedem employee: “You would be wiped out right now… if [your owner] puts more videos on Facebook I will f*** him up… I will kill you with it.”

Another man calls to say “I will burn your shop down” and in a separate post to the shop’s Facebook page, a pro-Palestinian campaigner wrote of the store’s owners “I hope he burns in hell like the rest of the Jews.”

On Saturday over 70 police officers struggled to contain hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters outside the shop. One man was arrested for reportedly making a Nazi salute at around 150 pro-Israel supporters, who responded with shouting and name-calling.

This piece in the Spectator makes some pithy points about the completely disproportionate focus on Israel as a focus for boycotts.