Israel slams mock fence set up at Danish rock festival
COPENHAGEN, Denmark - Israeli officials criticized a Danish aid group Thursday for erecting a plywood wall at one of Europe's largest music festivals to protest the separation fence.
Israel's deputy chief of mission in Denmark, Ephraim Ben-Matityahu, said DanChurchAid was making a political statement, and "it is a disservice to the DCA to go and involve itself in such political activism."
"If it's political activism, fine, but don't call yourself an aid organization," Ben-Matityahu said.
But DanChurchAid spokesman Thomas Ravn-Pedersen said the fake barrier at the Roskilde Festival was "a protest in line with objections made by the United Nations and the European Union."
Some 75,000 tickets have been sold for the four-day festival, which began Thursday. Those attending can sign their names on the fake barrier, which bears the slogan "make peace, not walls."
The fake barrier bends at a 90-degree angle, and inside the bend there is a cafe with leaflets containing information about the real barrier from an Israeli and Palestinian point of view "so young people can find out what to think about it," Ravn-Pedersen said.
DanChurchAid is one of Denmark's largest non-governmental organizations with activities in Central America, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East - including Israel and Lebanon.