Israeli activists urge international artists to boycott Eilat music festival
Activists argue that if the festival takes place as planned, it will help Israel present an image of normalcy.
Israeli left-wing activists of the Boycott Israel organization have asked international artists who plan to participate in the International Red Sea Chamber Music Festival in Eilat next month to cancel their participation.
The festival, which is expected to draw first-rate musicians from Europe, will take place in the southern city from March 17-26.
In an email to the members of the international orchestra iPalpiti, the activists listed several prominent people who have boycotted Israel, such as South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, director Ken Loach and guitarist John Williams.
The 15 people who signed the letter - who include the linguist Prof. Rachel Giora, Shir Hever and Yonatan Pollack - argued that if the festival takes place as planned, it will help Israel present an image of normalcy. They also pointed out that the event is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Bank Hapoalim.
Festival organizers said that iPalpiti has announced it has no intention of heeding the call to boycott the event. One of the pieces the orchestra plans to perform at the festival is by a Syrian composer, Kareem Roustom, who is a candidate for an Emmy. The piece includes klezmer music motifs.