The Whitewash Apartheid Orchestra

Adalah-NY and supporters creatively protest the performance of the “Brand Israel” Israel Philharmonic Orchestra at Carnegie Hall on February 22. In the background, celebrated Irish composer and prominent activist for Palestinian rights, Raymond Deane, appreciates the innovative music of The Whitewash Apartheid Orchestra*.

The Whitewash Apartheid Orchestra

Credit: Ellen Rachel Davidson

The Whitewash Apartheid Orchestra

Credit: Ellen Rachel Davidson

Noelle Ghoussaini from Adalah-NY explains:

“Tonight we sent a clear message to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Israeli government’s “Brand Israel” campaign that their music cannot drown out Palestinians’ calls for justice.” The US protests respond to the call from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) to boycott cultural institutions like the IPO that work to normalize Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories and whitewash the oppression of Palestinians in Israel, the occupied territories, and in exile.

Hundreds of well-dressed concert-goers paused on the edge of the sidewalk in front of Carnegie Hall, and looked across the street at the protesters’ signs, and listened to their chants and songs. Many were handed a mock IPO program that featured a cover photo of a past IPO performance in front of Israeli tanks for the Israeli army, and, on the inside, the PACBI’s call for an international boycott of the IPO.

Protesters held signs saying, “Israel Fiddles while Palestine Burns,” “Justice Presto not Lento,” “Without Justice There’s No Harmony,” and “Boycott the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra;” and they carried a banner with the words “Don’t Harmonize with Israeli Apartheid,” surrounded on each side by a violin with a rifle barrel as its neck. Protesters chanted, “We love Gustav, we love Mahler, but occupation makes us holler;” “For liberation take a stand, don’t let Is-ra-el rebrand;” and “Muslims, Jews, Atheists and Christians, stand for justice like Egyptians.”

In a street theater skit, a protester­­-turned-IPO conductor asked the crowd, “How can apartheid continue without us promoting the new, positive, aesthetically vibrant and civilized Israel? Don’t forget, there is “art” in “apartheid.” The conductor instructed three violinists to play progressively louder in an ultimately unsuccessful effort to drown out and cover up Israeli crimes against Palestinians that kept welling up behind the orchestra.

View the complete photo collection.

* Raymond Deane’s work “March Oubliee” will feature at a concert with Irish ensemble, the ‘Fidelio Trio’, in the Leonard Nimoy Thalia on the 24th February at 7.30pm.

The Fidelios Trio will also conduct a residency at the University of Illinois on the 27/28 February playing “March Oubliee”.

Other Current BDS Actions to Support

Support BDS in Marrickville – send a Marrickville Councillor a note of encouragement for their important stand for human rights.
CJPP Carry Bags – An environmentally-friendly, Palestine-friendly, ecosilk shopping bag. Strong, light and compact, to fit in your handbag or pocket. A stylish alternative to plastic bags!

Palestine / Israel Links

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Another resident, 26-year-old Ezatullah, told the Wall Street Journal: “The house was completely destroyed by the strike. Only two children [aged] four and six survived.” He added that “thousands of people attended the funeral of the slain family Monday and are planning a protest against coalition forces Tuesday”.

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When the budget was signed into law on October 28, 2009, the final size of the Department of Defense’s budget was $680 billion, $16 billion more than President Obama had requested.[3] An additional $37 billion supplemental bill to support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was expected to pass in the spring of 2010, but has been delayed by the House of Representatives after passing the Senate.[4][5] Defense-related expenditures outside of the Department of Defense constitute between $319 billion and $654 billion in additional spending, bringing the total for defense spending to between $1.01 and $1.35 trillion in fiscal year 2010.[6]

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