ARTISTS are usually passionate people who want to express their feelings, ideas and personalities on a stage.
Israeli ‘BatSheva’ dance ensemble have earned their invitations to the best stages Europe,
Not only are they highly acclaimed and have received great reviews, a quick glance on their website shows the ensemble to be truly multi-cultural with dancers from all over the world and, more relevantly a site in Hebrew, English and Arabic.
Meanwhile, the anti-Israel BDSers, protesters outside the theaters. they too use their “freedom of speech” And that is not necessarily a bad thing in itself.
I personally don’t agree with them but I do respect their right to be heard.
The Arab-Israeli conflict is anything but simple and what makes it more difficult to resolve is its portrayal in extremes of black and white. This polarization has led these protesters to dismiss their non-violent mantra, adding violence, hate, fear and intimidation to their arguments.
The line between legitimate non-violent protesting and vandalizing might not be so easy to nail down but there is one line that is very clear: the theater door.
The BDS protesters have crossed that threshold many times, bringing what might have been a legitimate protest inside, physically hijacking the hall for their protest.
The protesters-turned-vandals disrupt the shows repeatedly and are not arrested or even forcibly withdrawn from the hall leaving audience members “alarmed and vulnerable”.
They vandalize the rights of the BatSheva group members and their audience to enjoy an evening of art and culture, regardless of political or religious motives of people living thousands of miles away.
They search for a media spotlight, kidnapping the moment and the attention of the audience who definitely did not buy tickets to see these protesters’ “dance”.
It is therefore up to the theaters themselves to stand up to and stand by the reason they exist: the performance of art by artists to art lovers. They should have staff members to escort the “bullies” away to be fined the night’s tickets for ruining their evening.