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Tartan army targets Israeli ballet

Palestinian supporters are planning to disrupt an Israeli ballet company's performance at a theatre in the UK.

Last Modified: 10 Nov 2003 00:20 GMT
Ballerinas - but are they also Israeli occupation soldiers?

Palestinian supporters are planning to disrupt an Israeli ballet company's performance at a theatre in the UK.

News of the ballet company's Scottish booking provoked outrage among many protestors who are calling for a complete boycott of the production.

The Inbal Pinto Dance group hopes to perform its show, named Boobies, at the Glasgow Theatre on Tuesday – but not if the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign has anything to do with it.

Campaign Chairman Mick Napier says even though the dance group have condemned Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s policies, no visit was appropriate at this time.

He told Aljazeera.net on Sunday that until there was a just solution to the plight of the Palestinian people, no Israelis were welcome in Scotland.

“Last year, around 700 of us made sure Israel’s under 21 football team lost their game against Scotland. I think disrupting a ballet will be a piece of cake”

Mick Napier
Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign

This must include “a right to return, the end of Zionist ethnic cleansing and the complete withdrawal of the Israeli army from the Occupied Territories.

Experienced disruptors

“Last year, around 700 of us made sure Israel’s under 21 football team lost their game against Scotland. I think disrupting a ballet will be a piece of cake.”

Napier added that protestors outside the theatre would urge the public not to enter, while demonstrators inside would make sure the ballet company understood they were not appreciated.

The Muslim Association of Britain also plans to protest the performance. Usama Said told Aljazeera.net on Sunday that the visit was completely inappropriate.

“While this dance group are prancing around on stage to music, their state will be enforcing an illegal occupation on another people.

"Some of these ballet dancers will be part of the Israeli army in the future, if they haven't done their service already. This is an army which targets women and children.

“Because of Israel, Palestinians are not able to take part in cultural activist, and until they are given their freedom, Israel should not have the right either,” Said added.

Promoting complete boycott

Other demonstrators, such as the Campaign for Palestinian Rights, applaud the sentiment and plan to promote their complete economic, social and cultural boycott.

Braveheart: Michael Moore may
affect protestor numbers

All groups have stressed their protest will be peaceful and Glasgow’s police force do not see the need to deploy a significant number of officers.

“There will also be another popular attraction in the city at the same time which is likely to pull a much larger crowd than the ballet,” said the Scottish Police media office.

Strathclyde police confirmed that best selling novelist Michael Moore plans to give a talk about his new book – Dude, Where’s My Country on Tuesday night as well.

Michael Moore crowd-puller

The writer who has visited 39 cities in 23 days has consistently pulled crowds numbering between five to 10 thousand and may reduce attendance at the ballet.

The Stupid White Men author also intends to be very critical of policy in the Middle East, particularly on American tactics in Iraq.

Selling a million copies of  his latest book in just three weeks, Moore said his book “should give you some indication of the level of frustration and anger in the US right now over what the Bush administration is up to”.

“Not a night goes by in the US where I don't have parents or siblings of soldiers in Iraq coming up to me, many of them in tears, pleading with me to "do something" to help bring their loved ones home from this war without end.

“I'm convinced that there has been a shift, a real shift, in public opinion, and the only question now is what are we going to do?”

Source:
Aljazeera
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