Around 100 supporters of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign picketed the show by the Inbal Pinto Dance Group inside and outside Glasgow's Royal Theatre on Tuesday.

Mick Napier, the group's chairman, said protestors outside urged the public not to enter the theatre, while demonstrators inside made sure the Israelis understood they were not appreciated.

He said: "We may not have succeeded in getting the performance cancelled but our demonstration was very noisy and vociferous - I think we made our point.

"We were calling for a boycott of all Israeli goods as well as cultural and sporting activity. We wanted to draw attention to the plight of the Palestinian people and the occupation of their land."

Israeli ambassadors

And Napier dismissed the suggestion that ballet has nothing to do with politics.

"We were calling for a boycott of all Israeli goods as well as cultural and sporting activity. We wanted to draw attention to the plight of the Palestinian people and the occupation of their land"

Mick Napier,
Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign

He said: "This ballet company are ambassadors for Israel - they recieve a grant from the Israeli government. We invite people to think about how that money was raised. Was it by stealing olive groves on Palestinian land?"

He added: "The performance should never have gone ahead in the first place. There was a large police presence tonight and the bill will have to be footed by local ratepayers."

Following the opposition to their show - called Boobies - the Inbal Pinto Dance group issued a statement condemning Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's policies.

However, this failed to appease the demonstrators who argued that no Israelis were welcome in Scotland as long as there is injustice in Palestine.

Anti-Israeli opinion

The tide of world opinion seems to have turned against the Israeli state in recent months.

This latest anti-Israel demonstration comes a week after a European Commission opinion poll labelled Isreal the biggest threat to world peace. 

The United States was just behind Israel in the global danger league, according to the Eurobarometer poll.

The results released were part of a survey last month on Europeans' attitudes in the aftermath of the Iraq war.

The poll’s findings suggest Israel’s frequently deadly missile and armoured attacks on Palestinian urban areas, as well as air raids against its neighbours, are shaping the views of many Europeans.