International Harp Contest Funded by Apartheid Israel Used as Propaganda

Facts Uncovered: Amazing Revelations About Israel’s International Harp Contest

Why are harpists showing dwindling interest in travelling to Israel for the Harp Contest? The Contest website boasts that it looks ahead to the next 50 years, and invites harpists to join in the 18th contest from November to December, and lodge in the biblical city of Jaffa near Tel Aviv beaches.

Some interesting facts have come to light about the International Harp Contest in Israel. According to Carl Swanson, former student of the late master harpist Pierre Jamet, Israel was only supposed to be the location for the International Harp Contest in its inaugural year. Swanson wrote on a forum in the harpcolumn website:
Harpcolumn comments
Just to let you know: My teacher, Pierre Jamet, was the one who came up with the idea of an international harp competition and was part of the original organization that founded the Israel Competition. But their original plan was to hold the competition in a different country each time, not always in Israel. They chose Israel for the first competition because of the story of King David. But as soon as the first competition took place, the Israeli organizers took hold of it and kept it in Israel. [1]

This anomaly in planning the hosting of the event should lead to serious questions by international harpists regarding the contest continually being held in Israel. More facts have been uncovered which show how the Israeli government financially sponsors the contest [2], and there is strong evidence that the harp is being used as a propaganda tool to promote the Zionist state of Israel.


The contest is being seriously misused since the original founders intended the competition to live up to its title as an “International” Contest. No doubt Pierre Jamet was very disappointed that the contest he helped to found never took place in his home city of Paris. Jamet’s former student, Ruth Inglefield, tells how he “worked tirelessly to help create the beginnings of the large international family [3].

How sad that his plans were never realized. Jamet passed away in 1991, always knowing that his intentions were not honored. Indeed, research shows that Jamet disassociated himself from Israel after 1965, just 6 years after the contest began in Israel.

There were other harpists who were also undoubtedly disappointed that Israel “took hold of the contest.” Maria Korchinska (England), Phia Berghout (Holland), Clelia Gatti Aldrovandi (Italy), Vera Dulova (Russia), Nicanor Zabaleta (Spain), Lucile Johnson Rosenbloom, Lucile Lawrence and Eileen Malone (USA), Marcel Grandjany and Carlos Salzedo (USA and France) were all renowned harpists and founders of the contest, they must have had visions of someday seeing the tri-annual contest in their home countries as well.

1959 Harp Contest
(above, this poster for the first contest is evidence that the liberty was taken to rename the contest thereafter)


The Israeli Meitar Collection Website states that:

The Harp Competition – the first in the world – was founded in 1959 on a shoe-string by [sic] Aaron Zvi Propes. It takes place every three years and is considered the most [sic] important world harp contest contributing to Israel’s prestige.

Thirty-six entrants up to age 35 are accepted for every competition [4]

In 2003, the International Harp Contest, according to Israeli harpist Sunita Staneslow, had only eleven competitors. It fell far short of 36 contestants! Staneslow wrote on her website:

There were only eleven competitors this year due to the political situation in Israel, and I wondered if that would mean a loss of stature to the competition. [5]

This is not surprising, as the contest focuses primarily on placing the culture of the Israeli state on the International stage [6], and not on harpists, their talent and art. So desperate are the organizers for participants, that the 2012 contest now offers to pay half of all hotel and food costs for contestants.

Varvara Ivanova, Julie Bunzel, Albane Mahe and Etsuko Shoji were four of the eleven contestants present in 2003, and they all received a prize in Israel. Yet, how difficult would it be to place when the competition is so scanty? By contrast, The USA International Harp Competition had 39 contestants in a recent competition [7]. Of course, Staneslow is right, there is great loss of stature to Israel’s Harp Contest.

The real underlying reason for that loss of stature and prestige comes from the fact that Israel is committing the crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people. Recently, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination emphasised:

The Committee’s concluding observations and recommendations are notable because they establish that Israel’s policies in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) are tantamount to Apartheid, and additionally determine that many state policies within Israel also violate the prohibition on Apartheid as enshrined in Article 3 of the Convention. [8]


In conclusion, efforts to revive the flailing contest in Israel are not likely to succeed, just as apartheid in Israel is not sustainable. Many harpists today do not even consider the Israel contest. They are looking to other contests such as the highly competitive and very popular USA International Harp Competition, the Lily Laskine in Paris[9], and the International Harp Competition of the Cité des Arts in Paris[10]. The Dutch Harp Competition is described as a “revolutionary international harp competition hosted in the Netherlands.[11]” The International Golden Harp Competition[12] was also recently inaugurated in Russia, and could likely replace the Israel Contest.

Harpists are likely investigating Israel’s many violations of human rights and are choosing to heed the call to boycott, reiterated by George Roger Waters of the legendary Pink Floyd:

This is, however, a plea to my colleagues in the music industry, and also to artists in other disciplines, to join this cultural boycott.

Artists were right to refuse to play in South Africa’s Sun City resort until apartheid fell and white people and black people enjoyed equal rights. And we are right to refuse to play in Israel until the day comes – and it surely will come – when the wall of occupation falls and Palestinians live alongside Israelis in the peace, freedom, justice and dignity that they all deserve.[13]

George Roger Waters, The Guardian, UK, 11 March 2011

[1] http://www.harpcolumn.com/forum/message-view?message_id=19143167
[2] ”The Power Behind Israel’s Harp Contest” http://boycott-israel-harp-contest.posterous.com/the-power-behind-israels-harp-contest
[3] REMEMBRANCES OF PIERRE JAMET IN HIS CENTENNIAL YEAR By Marie Claire Jamet, Ruth Inglefield, and Carl Swanson http://swansonharp.com/articles/remembrances_pierre_jamet.html
[4] http://meitarfamily.co.il/206105?language=english
[5] http://www.sunitaharp.com/articles/TopHarpists.html
[6] Propes indeed placed Israel’s culture on the international stage. http://www.harpcontest-israel.org.il/about
[7] USA International Harp Competition concludes http://www.idsnews.com/news/story.aspx?id=76234&search=al&section=search
[8] UN Committee 2012 Session Concludes Israeli System Tantamount to Apartheid http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/5588/un-committee-2012-session-concludes-israeli-system?fb_action_ids=4127358194162&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=246965925417366
[9] http://lilylaskine.online.fr/english/competition/competition.htm
[10] http://www.harpcompetition-citedesarts.com/
[11] Dutch Harp Competiton 2012 http://www.harpfestival.nl/competition
[12] http://www.goldenharp.ru/eng/main/?year=2011
[13]Tear Down This Israeli Wall http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/11/cultural-boycott-west-bank-wall


Zdob si Zdub: Don’t Play in Apartheid Israel

Lately some musical artists have voiced that they had not heard of the cultural boycott of Israel, or they would have never scheduled to play in Israel. Tuba Skinny, of New Orleans was due to play for the Israeli Red Sea Jazz Festival, and just days before, they cancelled [2] after being informed of the boycott by humanitarians. Denise Jannah and Ramon Valle (of the Netherlands) became aware of the the boycott two days prior to their three scheduled concerts in Israel, they played in Israel anyway. Denise’s experience in Israel, and correspondence with BDS volunteers, evidently created in her great regret that she had played for the apartheid regime, and she has written a letter stating she now supports BDS, where she states:

Please let me start by telling you this: of a cultural BDS boycott Ramon and I had NO knowledge, none at all. This is where the problem started, for had I known I would have done things differently: the reasons for this boycott are valid.[1]

(Zdob si Zdub before the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 in Düsseldorf.)
Vintage punker Jello Biafara and advocate of the (USA) Green Party was also scheduled to play Israel, he also cancelled his performance. He was also unaware that his actions would be interpretated as showing support for Israeli apartheid. He thought he would be letting his Israeli fans down if he cancelled, and that his Israeli fans were all anti-zionist and against apartheid. He cancelled after Punks Against Apatheid [3] launched an extensive education campaign making him more aware of the PACBI’s call for a cultural boycott of Israel. [4]

Now Moldavian punkers Zdob si Zdub have announced on their “gigs” page that they will be in Tel Aviv at the Barby on 5 November. [5]

The chances are high that when they contracted to play in Israel, they were not informed of the boycott. Usually, the only way bands can often be contacted are through their booking agents or management. Punk bands are noted for making stands against government oppression. Punk bands are not known for breeching boycotts or crossing picket lines that exist for causes like human rights and justice. It can only be assumed that these punkers from Moldavia are not aware of the boycott because they have not been contacted. The BDS movement has not taken hold in Moldavia or Russia, and apparently it needs much wider exposure in the Netherlands and the USA.

As of this publishing, the contacts we have for these Moldavian punkers, who participated in the Eurovision Song 2011 Contest in Dusseldorf (and placed 12th) are:

on Facebook see http://www.facebook.com/zdobsizdub?sk=wall

myspace comments page for Zdob si Zdub

on twitter @zdobsizdub (tweet to them about the boycott, ask them to cancel their 5 Nov concert in Israel)

emails for the band booking/management:



Please participate in letting this band know what they are probably unaware of, that there is a cultural boycott on now of Israel. They they are being asked to respect this global call.

Zdob si Zdub, performing in Israel is a clear violation of support for human rights and justice. Punk music and apartheid don’t belong together.


[1] See Jazz artist Denise Jannah’s full letter here https://www.kadaitcha.com/2011/09/18/denise-jannah-and-ramon-valles-now-support-bds/

[2] See letter from tuba Skinny on their cancellation here http://electronicintifada.net/blog/adri-nieuwhof/tuba-skinny-speaks-out-cancellation-show-red-sea-festival

[3] See http://punksagainstapartheid.com/ and http://punksagainstapartheid.com/2011/07/its-bigger-than-jello/

[4] See http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=869

[5] See http://www.zdob-si-zdub.com/eng/concerts/index.html

Obama Nation Part 2 – Lowkey

Grooving on Lowkey’s T shirt – AUSTRALIA HAS A BLACK HISTORY

The track also mentions Ali Abunimah.

US Imperialism

Noam Chomsky on the Dangers of American Empire and Why the US Continues to be Bin Laden’s Best Ally : What Chomsky doesn’t mention: The ruling elite in the US who invest in the defence and associated corporations benefit hugely from increased militarisation and Pentagon budget pursuant to 9/11. The US taxpayers are fleeced by the ruling class, and the scam is reinforced and insured by the existence of defence and allied industries providing jobs in nearly every US state.

In 2010, US arms exports were round $8641m, a small fraction of the US defence budget of $698b. Arms exports are the number 1 US export earner.

How private firms have cashed in on the climate of fear since 9/11
Outsourcing imperialism: Revenue from General Dynamics’ intelligence- and information-related divisions, where the majority of its top-secret work is done, climbed to $10 billion in the second quarter of 2009, up from $2.4 billion in 2000, accounting for 34 percent of its overall revenue last year.
“Nine years after the terrorist attacks of 2001, the United States is assembling a vast domestic intelligence apparatus to collect information about Americans, using the FBI, local police, state homeland security offices and military criminal investigators.”

Palestine / Israel Links

Uncovered: Israel’s role in planned US lawsuit to fight BDS
The Palestinian-Bedouin community of Khan al Ahmar (Jerusalem periphery) is fighting for survival.

The 180-strong community faces the threat of imminent displacement if the Israeli authorities demolish their homes and school as planned. This may well destroy the community, one of 20 in the area, who have become victims of creeping settlement expansion and ethnic cleansing. Write Israeli Minister of Defense Barak to demand he refrains from pursuing the demolition of the Khan al Ahmar School.

AN URGENT CALL FOR TRANSPARENCY AND PARTICIPATION by the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-apartheid Wall Campaign
The crime of apartheid : Israel on trial at 3rd Intl Session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine in November, 2011 Cape Town
Supporters of Israeli exceptionalism are attempting to override US citizens’ right to free speech
Al-Jazeera calls on Israel to free journalist :

‘According to the statement, Israeli authorities used Allawi’s personal passwords to gain access to Al-Jazeera’s internal news and email networks.’
What have the Israeli ghouls been doing to Samer Allawi?

“Appeal to District Court for Independent Doctor to Visit Al Jazeera Journalist Samer Allawi Detained for 23 Days without Charge by the Israeli GSS (Shabak)”

‘He is currently detained at the Kishon prison, an IPS detention facility in Haifa, and is under interrogation by the ISA, with no charges have been filed against him to date.

Mr. Allawi’s attorney, Salim Wakeem, has voiced concerns regarding the methods of his interrogation, particularly as Mr. Allawi suffers from chronic health conditions. Mr. Allawi’s attorney was denied access to documentation concerning his medical condition and treatment.

Court protocols from Mr. Allawi’s hearing dated 22 August 2011 indicate that Mr. Allawi was not examined by a physician upon arrival in the detention facility, in contradiction of the IPS regulations, which provide that a detainee should be examined by a medic within 24 hours and by a physician within 48 hours of arriving in a detention facility.

According to court protocols, Mr. Allawi stated that since his arrest he has suffered pain that is not treated; that he was not examined by a physician since his arrest; that he has used only medications he had with him upon his arrest, and that the IPS has not supplied him with any further medication. ‘

The 2nd Pillar of Israeli apartheid in practice : Israeli Forces Raze Artesian Water Wells
Israeli Soldiers Demolish Homes near Hebron

Australia Links

Malalai Joya: Australia is making Afghanistan worse

Canadian Boat Update

12.35 pm Wednesday, 6th July, 2011.

Cheers! our friends have been freed!!!

From Australians for Palestine

Editor’s Note:  As the French boat makes its way to Gaza alone, the rest of
the flotilla is still trying to find ways of leaving Greece.  The captain of
the US boat has been released from prison and the charges have been dropped..  
The passengers of the Canadian boat the “Tahrir” Michael Coleman and Soha
Kneen have also been released from custody and will appear in court in the
morning and will receive suspended sentences.  Although Sandra Ruch has been
released, she faces the charge of allowing the boat to leave port without
proper authorisation. (Sandra, a Jewish-Canadian on the “Tahrir”  is
refusing to surrender the boat’s registration papers.)  Spanish activists
have taken over the Spanish embassy in Athens

Thank you to everyone who wrote or telephoned the Greek embassy and
consulates.  Some managed to get through while others found that some of the
emails bounced back.  The emails and phone numbers were correct, but
embassies/consulates are known for changing their contact details.

Related Links

Navy braced for Gaza-bound French boat sailing from Greece

The Israel Navy is prepared to stop a French vessel that set sail from near Greece on Tuesday and that is believed to be heading to the Gaza Strip in an effort to break an Israel-imposed sea blockade, said government officials.

On Tuesday afternoon, organizers announced that the small French yacht named Dignity had left waters near Greece with eight passengers on board en-route to Gaza.

Meanwhile Tuesday, John Klusmire, the captain of the US-flagged ship Audacity of Hope who was arrested last week for trying to sail to Gaza, was released from custody.

About 20 Spanish activists, from the ship Guernica, occupied their nation’s embassy in Athens on Tuesday to protest against the ban and demand their government’s support.


7.35 pm Tuesday, 5th July, 2011.

In the harbour office in detainment on charges are Australian Michael Coleman, with 1 charge, Canadian Soha Kneen on 1 charge, and Sandra Ruch who is faced with 3 charges. Please use the information here to pressure the relevant Greek embassies and consulates, your local and Federal MPs and let’s help our good friends out of this situation and back on their mission.

You can gain up to date information by following @CanadaBoatGaza and @GFFAusGroup on twitter, and their Facebook groups CANADIAN Boat to Gaza and Gaza Freedom Flotilla Australia

The French Freedom Flotilla boat is underway, having eluded the Greek Coastguard! to be off Gaza in a day or so.

Edelstein: Israel Ready for Any Scenario in Pro-Arab Fly-In – but is he ready for the French!

Circa 1pm Tuesday, 5th July, 2011.

From Australians for Palestine

Editor’s Note: Australian participant on the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza
Michael Coleman has been arrested by Greek Police for attempting to block
their pursuit of the Canadian boat the “Tahrir” as it left port. Michael
and Soha, another Canadian Flotilla team member, were in two kayaks beside
the “Tahrir”. As soon as the boat’s motors started, Michael and Soha
paddled to the immediate prow of the coastguard and managed to stay there
for at least 5 minutes which prevented the coastguard from stopping the
Tahrir from leaving. Eddie O’Loughlin, who has provided this latest update,
says that a Canadian Flotilla team member has assured him that a legal team
is working on freeing Michael. They are still not sure as to what the
specific charges against Michael will be.

Please telephone or write to the Greek embassy in Australia and also the
consulates asking them to pressure Greek authorities to release Michael
Coleman and to allow the Freedom Flotilla to continue its mission to
Gaza. Also letters and calls to our own government representatives are
important asking them to pressure the Greek government to release Michael
Coleman and the Tahrir.

Greek Embassy in Australia
Tel: +61-2-6273-3011

Greek Consulate (Sydney)
Tel: +61-2-92212388
Tel: +61-2-92211453

Greek Consulate (Melbourne)
Tel: +61-3-98664524
Tel: +61-3-98664525

Greek Consulate (Adelaide)
Tel: +61-8-82118066

Greek Consulate (Brisbane)
Tel: +61-7-32927421
Tel: +61-7-32927422

Australian Embassy in Greece
Tel: +30 210 870 4000

Also contact your own member of parliament (you can find their details
here http://www.aph.gov.au/house/members/mi-elctr.asp)
The Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd
Tel: (02) 6277 7500

We need to keep the pressure up on the Greek Government and our own.

Sonja Karkar
Australians for Palestine



Three @CanadaBoatGaza humanitarians charged: Soha Kneen (1 charge), Michael Coleman (1 charge), Sandra Ruch (3 charges) #flotilla2

RT @CanadaBoatGaza: We can confirm that Sandra Ruch is facing 3 charges. We are working to confirm details of these charges. #flotilla2 #Canada4Gaza

RT @CanadaBoatGaza: We can confirm that Soha Kneen of Canada and Michael Coleman of Australia are facing one charge each. #Canada4Gaza #Flotilla2

RT @GFFAusGroup: DFAT chasing Aussie arrest report in Greece #Flotilla2 http://j.mp/lin4Ct

RT @SoulFya: Canadian ConsulateThessaloniki: 2310-256350 E: Demand release of Michael & Soha(Canadian citizen)

RT @CanadaBoatGaza: @INTLRevolver We can confirm @SmithSofia (Soha Kneen) is facing one charge, working to get details. #flotilla2 #

RT @Mivasair: @CanadaBoatGaza Met today w Consul General of Greece in Vancouver. Greece will play hardball. Needs $$ from Israel. Very clear abt this. #

RT @GFFAusGroup: A union has organised lawyers for us.Michael and Soha have been detained but not charged #flotilla2

Hurrahh! RT @GFFAusGroup: We’ve been told the local municipal authorities are calling on the harbor master to release our boat. #flotilla2

RT @GFFAusGroup: Journalists are reluctant to leave the boat without assurances their photos won’t be confiscated. #flotilla2

RT @GFFAusGroup: They are also refusing to sign any documents, should they be asked to do so #flotilla2


Statement of the Greek Government on their site

Foreign Ministry Announcement regarding Greece’s intention to undertake the task of transporting humanitarian aid

Despite the request of the Secretary General of the United Nations, the recommendations of the EU reflected in the conclusions of the European Council, yesterday’s relevant appeal of the Quartet and the Greek Foreign Ministry’s urging not to participate in the flotilla attempting to break the Gaza blockade, certain groups of Greek and foreign citizens, without having received the necessary permission required according to the rules of safety, insisted to go through with the enterprise.

In light of these developments and concerned primarily with the protection and safety of human life, the Greek Government decided to ban the departure from Greek ports of vessels with Greek or foreign flags bound for Gaza.

Greece’s stance regarding the need to lift the Gaza blockade and to improve the humanitarian conditions in the area is known and remains unchanged. Greece’s positions of principle for the need to respect international law and not to resort to the use of force are also well known. Greece, as it is widely known, actively supports the resumption of peace talks, which constitute the only road to a comprehensive and viable resolution of the Palestinian issue, with the creation of a Palestinian state that will coexist peacefully with the state of Israel. These positions have been made clear to all concerned parties.

In this context, Greece reiterates its willingness and proposes to undertake the task of transporting the humanitarian aid, with Greek vessels or other appropriate means, through the existing channels as requested by the Secretary General of the United Nations.

To this avail, Greece will come into immediate and direct contact with the UN and all the concerned parties, in order to render the mission feasible on behalf of our country.

In this critical conjuncture, we should all demonstrate a sense of responsibility or assume entirely and exclusively the responsibility for our actions. The Government will act as it must in an orderly fashion and according to the laws of the State.

Related Links

Why Is Greece Hindering the Gaza Flotilla?
What’s the Impact of Israel’s Natural Gas Find?
DFAT chasing Aussie flotilla arrest report
Canadian activist slams Greece for turning back Gaza-bound vessel
Australian in Gaza flotilla detained: reports

MEMRI is a source for journalists that do not understand Arabic,

but because they do not understand Arabic, they cannot validate the source. When you consider that the source is the brainchild of a former Israeli intelligence officer and has been caught selectively translating Arabic broadcasts that would reflect negatively on the Muslim world, the problem increases ten-fold.

Listening Post’s Meenakshi Ravi looks at an organisation that is out to influence how the Middle East is seen in the rest of the world’s media.

Palestine / Israel Links

September Surprise: Israeli Attack on Iran?

Freedom for Palestine

“Palestine is in crisis. Today Palestinians face daily human rights abuse and live in crushing poverty in refugee camps and under Israeli Occupation.

In response to this injustice, a group of international musicians are releasing the song Freedom for Palestine by OneWorld.”


Maxi Jazz (Faithless), Dave Randall (Slovo/Faithless), LSK, the Durban Gospel Choir, members of the London Community Gospel Choir, Jamie Catto (1 Giant Leap), Harry Collier (Kubb), Andrea Britton, Sudha (Faithless), Andy Treacy (Faithless / Moby / Groove Armada), Attab Haddad, Joelle Barker and Tony Reed.

Music video features artists on track in addition to comedian Mark Thomas, rapper Lowkey and poet Michael Rosen.

Song written and produced by Dave Randall. Video produced by Andy Marlow. Filming by Alex Forster, Andy Marlow & Henna Malik (UK), Dave Randall (UK & West Bank), Jen Marlowe (Gaza) and Amehlo Video Productions (SA). Animation by the Moth Collective.

Preorder now!

A new animated film released by Gisha challenges the commonly held belief that Israel no longer exercises control over Gaza and does not bear responsibility for what goes on there. The opening of the Rafah Crossing is a welcome improvement in Gaza residents’ access to the outside world. However, it does not detract from Israel’s obligation to allow regular travel between Gaza and the West Bank. The Palestinian territory shares a single economy, a single education system, a single healthcare system and countless familial, cultural and social ties.

Today’s Palestine / Israel Links

Israel’s stranglehold on the British media
Obamarama demonstrates he, like Bush, isn’t averse to interferring with the freedom of the press.
Under Israeli Siege: Gaza’s Drinking Water Polluted
Turning the ‘right of return’ into reality – Ben White on the untenable lies and racist excuses the US and Israel use to thwart the inalienable right of Palestinians to return to their lands.
This is ethnic cleansing by stealth: Palestinian and Jewish Neighbourhoods in Jerusalem to be renamed
Israeli raid on Gaza-bound flotilla remembered

Other Links

Twelve children killed in another US massacre in Afghanistan