Israel’s Batsheva dances on in Edinburgh despite PSC hate-fest (Firsthand account, with videos)

Cross posted by the indispensable Richard Millett

Disruption during Batsheva’s Thursday performance at Edinburgh’s Playhouse Theatre.

What follows is a first hand account by our good friend Harvey of the racism, lies and abuse hurled at innocent theatre-goers by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign when Israel’s Batsheva dance group performed last Thursday, Friday and Saturday at The Playhouse Theatre in Edinburgh. Harvey also highlighted the frightening lack of security inside the theatre.

He took footage and photos of Thursday’s anti-Israel protests before, during and after Batsheva’s performance of Hora. By Saturday, when he had been identified as a supporter of Israel, he received this volley of abuse from PSC’s Scottish Chair Mick Napier for merely standing alone and filming Napier’s protest:

Napier screams at Harvey:

“Tell him to put his camera away. It’s intimidating. We know what they do with images. They use it to torture. They put Palestinians in their dungeons. And you. You think we’re afraid? You can’t call in your dirty little IDF to torture us as you do our friends. You’re a disgusting specimen.”

Disgusting specimen, eh? Such a pleasant chap that Napier. And it’s alright for Napier to have a go at members of the public out for a pleasant Thursday night’s entertainment; just don’t intimidate poor, defenceless Napier and his flock.

And one of Napier’s flock was this equally lovely chap:


Does anyone need reminding about the exhortations of Hezbollah’s Sheikh Nasrallah who has characterised Jews as the “grandsons of pigs and apes” and has said that if every Jew gathered in Israel it would save Hezbollah the effort of going after them worldwide. And go after them worldwide they have with terrorist attacks in Argentina in 1992 and 1994 and this year in Bulgaria.

Here is Harvey’s footage of PSC activists taunting the theatre-goers before Thursday’s performance with cries of “Your tickets are covered in Palestinian blood”:

Harvey reports that on entering The Playhouse the security, which consisted of a trestle table for checking bags, was “optional”. He walked in on the Thursday night without even showing his ticket, something which the PSC got wind of allowing them to run amok during the Saturday night performance and force some nine stoppages of the show.

On the Thursday, Harvey reports, there were three stoppages. Each time the Batsheva dancers came into a line at the front of the stage and stood like soldiers to attention while the lights went up to allow security to evict the PSC activists. And each time the audience responded with a spontaneous standing ovation to drown out the noise of the activists.

At the end of the performance the dancers received a proper standing ovation:

But on leaving the theatre the audience were once again confronted with crazed calls for the destruction of Israel:

It is incredible that after the disruptions during the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance at the Royal Albert Hall and Habima’s Merchant of Venice at The Globe there have been no prosecutions for aggravated trespass.

But this will always be the case without complaints by the likes of the Royal Albert Hall, The Globe and The Edinburgh Playhouse to the police.

There’s much more to come from Batsheva in the UK: Edinburgh, Festival Theatre (30, 31 Oct.), The Lowry, Salford Quays (2, 3 Nov.), Bradford, Alhambra Theatre (6, 7 Nov.), Brighton Dome, Concert Hall (9, 10 Nov.), Birmingham Hippodrome (13, 14 Nov.), Leicester, Curve Theatre (16 Nov.), London, Sadler’s Wells (19,20, 21 Nov.) and Plymouth, Theatre Royal (23, 24 Nov.)

Please come and support the wonderful dancers and help drown out the noise of the PSC’s professional disruptors.

More clips:

Here Napier says that if Batsheva “breaks their links with the state of Israel, then they may be welcome as normal citizens, but not as agents for the Israeli state.” Of course, that is impossible as Batsheva would not be able to operate without state funding, just like any other dance group. Yet another example of holding Jews to a higher standard:

And here is another anti-Israel activist explaining to the mob that the problem is simply with Batsheva’s state funding. Would he demand the arts in the UK go without state funding for the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq? I think not:

In this footage an activist claims that some theatre-goers are destroying their Batsheva tickets. There is no proof. It’s just in his mind:

Finally, here is footage of a choir pleasantly singing for Israel’s security wall to come down. One woman even sings “inshallah”. Jewish babies having their throats slit by Hamas is obviously not a concern for some small-minded people:

85 replies »

    • Have Scottish Jews been living for five years under a regime where Jews are banned from most professions, banned from marrying gentiles, are attacked on the streets by government thugs, and are blamed by the government for previous wars?

      What an utterly stupid thing to say.

      Shame on those who recommended that bullshit.

        • I’ll tell you what’s incorrect.

          1. Arabs have full access to all professions in Israel. Not only is the Corries’ lawyer and Arab, there is an Arab Supreme Court Justice. I have personally been examined by an Arab doctor in Israel and have also gotten treated by an Arab physiotherapist. Doctors and lawyers are considered to be among the most prestigious of professions anywhere.

          One of the senior city planners in Israel, my profession, is an Arab. A well-respected journalist in Israel is Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab. An Arab has a;sp

          2. Everyone has difficulty getting married in Israel. I had to go through an arduous process and I’m a Jew that wanted to marry a Jew (although it didn’t work out in the end).

          3. Maybe your Arab “heroes” should refrain from attacking in the first place.

          4. I suggest you provide details on blaming Israeli Arabs for wars.


          • What a bizarre post!

            You appear to have interpreted my question as saying that Arab Israelis live under 1938-style conditions!

            1) & 2) My post was merely a response to Daniel’s preposterous suggestion that Jews in Scotland are facing such a situation. I was not even thinking about Arab Israelis!

            3) What “Arab heroes” do I have??
            4) Where did I blame Israeli Arabs for wars??

            @ Michael and the mental midgets recommending your post: Feel silly? You should do.

            Perhaps now someone could explain what I said in that post that was incorrect – and what deserved so many thumbs-down.

            • Daniel made a clear reference to interbellum Germany and as many Israel bashers liken Israelis to Nazis, your very unclear post left much to interpretation.

              • I am not an Israel basher. I have never likened Israelis to Nazis.

                My post was perfectly clear – just as Daniel made a clear reference to interbellum Germany.

                You may apologise – twice over.

                  • Look at my post again: a clear reference to a) 1933-1938 Germany (“five years”!) and b) Scotland in the present day. There is nothing there about Arab Israelis!

                    After spectacularly misinterpreting my post, you went on to make the utterly baseless claim that I liken Israelis to Nazis.

                    Be a man and apologise.

                    • @ Daniel

                      Yes, kristallnacht was in 1938. So have the Scottish authorities been burning down the country’s synagogues, rounding up thousands of Jews and dispatching armies of thugs to beat up Jews on the streets?

                    • I suggest that you take a writing course. The Nazi references are a very common tactic used by Israel bashers and your post reads like the kind of sarcasm that they often post i.e., do Jews have to “suffer” as Palestinians do nowadays.

                      If you expect an apology then I suggest that you retract your acerbity.

                    • @ Michael

                      See my other post from September 5, 2012 at 4:42 am below? Are those the words of an Israel basher?

                      You spectacularly misinterpreted my post. And even now you continue to call me an “Israel basher”!

                      As I said: just be a man and recognise your error.

                      Come on. You can do it.

                    • a large group of people shouting and screaming at others not to go see jews. intimidating them in a mob, agressive behaviour. burning tickets. the leader of the group being a total whack job. all this looks to me like scenes in front of jewish shops in germany. the parallels are uncanny.

                    • @pretzelberg I am NOT continuing to call you an Israel basher. I do indeed see that now that you are not. What I AM saying is that your post was unclear and therefore subject to misinterpretation. I can admit my error, but if you want an apology then change your tack.

                    • Furthermore, I cannot, nor will I even attempt, to memorize everyone’s post and check posting history for every blogger here. At the time that I’m writing this, there are 79 posts. It’s more than a little arrogant to expect every participant to have studied your comments amongst all the others.

                    • @ Michael

                      It was wrong of you to assume that I was/am an Israel basher.

                      I find it very sad that you misinterpreted my post in the way you did.

                      It’s more than a little arrogant to expect every participant to have studied your comments amongst all the others.

                      I made no such expectation.
                      Innocent until proven guilty. Ever heard of that concept?
                      The issue is: why did you make the preposterous assumption that I would compare Israelis with Nazis?

                      Again: you may apologise.

                      @ Daniel

                      Scotland 2012 is most definitely not Germany on Nov. 9 1938.

                    • Scotland is not Germany in 1938 correct. Yet looking at these vids, SPSC reminds me of the nazi hordes outside Jewish shops across Germany.

                    • Daniel, butterflies, ink blots and fluffy clouds remind you of Nazi hordes. You’re hard wired to trivialise the Holocaust with every breath.

                    • Kristallnacht and holocaust, big difference. How’s the paranoia on your unread blog Avram? Any new essays about omnipresent imperialist evil? Any new nazis uploaded on your flickr photo stream?

  1. Another gold medal, Richard and Harvey! Well done!

    I am sorry that you had to do this but I guess it was inevitable. The PSC is, after all, the little brother of the Islamist terror-supporting ISM.

  2. True friends of the Palestinians would be searching for ways of encouraging them to collaborate with Israel and state build. Here we see not collaboration but collusion which beds in tand reinforces he misplaced Palestinian sense of victimhood and pernicious envy, no doubt because of the codependency needs of these PSC members.

  3. I wasn’t there at all. Harvey stood alone on Saturday night. He had some support on Thursday night via the ZF et al.

    • The linked article correctly states that the Palestinians having these friends don’t need enemies. Avram, Rich, Nat, Sanity please note…

      • Cue the article by Sarah Elshazly, Israeli Arab whose family, rather than believe the Palestinian leaders who said that if they fled they would come back as heroes, stayed put and thrived rather than became refugees:

        Note particularly

        “.. I am merely pointing out the truth and basically, as a Palestinian, I would like to ask the entire world to stop exploiting our issue. If you want a do a good deed find your own. To the singers who are romanticizing the Palestinian suffering, it is not romantic. There is nothing dreamy about it. There is no heroism in a small child throwing rocks at a tank. Either warn the child to stay away or Please shut up! How dare you do this to our children? Our suffering gives you good video materials and a good rating? Not to mention fame and the good old all mighty Dollar?

        “To the average citizen in the Arab world, stop crying crocodile tears for us. We don’t need you to talk about the “poor Palestinians” or to protest. We thank you for your kind feelings, but please, leave us alone. We do not want to be the object of your pity. To the Arab and Islamic Governments, fix your own problems. Do not use our misery to blind your subjects to what is really wrong with your countries. What are you afraid of? If the people wise up and stop hating Israel they’re going to turn on you? Maybe, I mean, when you condone so much hate you will pay the price. You’ve created monsters and you won’t be able to handle them. Worry about creating jobs for your own poor people and educating the children and leave us alone. In short to all those who are driving our children to die, please, stay away from us”

    • He’s 100% correct Daniel, but it’s preaching to the choir. The message needs to get into the MSM which is biased towards the “pro” Palestinian agenda.

      • The MSM has a pro-Palestinian bias? By what metric? All the evidence seems to point in the opposite direction, overwhelmingly in fact.

        The best study on news coverage at the BBC showed conclusively that the prevalent narrative, by a significant margin, was the Israeli narrative. And the BBC is even considered amongst the least pro-Israel MSM organisations.

        Outside of the Guardian, I can’t think of anything in the UK MSM that would come close to pro-Palestinian bias.

        • Here we have “The World According to Avram” So, the BBC investigated itself and found itself innocent. Wow, I’m just so shocked that it wouldn’t find any evidence of wrongdoing.

          Outside The Guardian? How about CNN with pundits like Jim “it’s Israel’s fault” Clancy.

            • No Rich, because there have been quite a few cases where the IDF have found soldiers guilty of malfeasance.

              Must be disappointing for you to not be able to vilify Israel.

              • A Palestinian child throws a stone at an IDF soldier? 3 million years in solitary.

                An IDF soldier slaughters unarmed female civilians in cold blood? A few days in prison, don’t do it again.

                Most Moral Army In The World™

                • Could show the reference for 3 million years? That must be akin to the time that you have to wait between finding specious angles to attack Israel.

                  The total was 45 days, but that was because he entered into a plea bargain. Not that your Fakeastinian heroes wouldn’t stoop to hiding a weapon behind a white flag.

              • IDF “Soldier” steals a Palestinian’s credit card – 7 months in prison.

                IDF “soldier” uses a 9 year old boy as a human shield – 3 months suspended sentence.

                We can tolerate crimes against children, but leave those credit cards alone!!!

                    • Bwahahaha. Did you really think that I wouldn’t click on your links? The soldier in the credit card case got 7.5 months. That may be less than the death sentence that libero-fascists like you would like to impose, but, over half a year in jail ain’t no picnic. If that’s not good enough to satisfy your lust to see Jewish suffering, tough.

                      As for HRW, they’re not satisfied. And? So what else is new?

                      You’re own posts plus mine prove what a mendacious liar you are.

                    • I think you’ve found that the links backed up what I said…haven’t you?

                      So you agree that stealing a credit card is significantly more serious than using a 9 year old boy as a human shield?

                    • @ bottom: you are simply looking for some angle to bash Israel. It’s that simple, if it wouldn’t be what HRW and libero-fascists consider inadequate, it could be something else. The fact that human shields are punishable up to three years is evidence enough.

                      Mitnaged is right. You must be bored and need to some outlet to give yourself a fix. Your irrational hatred of Israel and your consequent need to find a way to bash it, as well as your lust for seeing Jews suffer provides you with that temporary fix.

                      Get help.

                    • I’m asking you whether or not you view credit card theft as being significantly more serious than using a 9 year old boy as a human shield.

                      You don’t seem to want to answer.

                    • As I said using a human shield is punishable up to 3 years in prison, so you have your answer, even though you would like there to be absolute “justice” when it comes to punishing Israelis, facts of cases notwithstanding.

                      I was reasonably sure that applying Mitnaged’s characterization of Israel bashers applies to you, seeing the link about you provided by Fritz proves that point.

                      Get a life or hobby. Why don’t you try finger painting?

                    • Avram: “I’m asking you whether or not you view credit card theft as being significantly more serious than using a 9 year old boy as a human shield.”

                      Why don’t you ask the remnants of the Fogel family which crime is more heinous than the other, or is it that in your moral universe the worst crimes are always the ones perpetrated by Jews.

                      In all your sanctimonious pomposity, you have overlooked your own ‘moral hygiene’ and are starting to stink like an anti-Semite.

                    • Meaning, as Newt Gingrich correctly (albeit not politically) pointed out that they are an invented people. Even Arab leaders have admitted that although not to western media.

        • Avram, I mentioned above that denial is not a river in Egypt. It has taken root very deeply in you, to the extent that your perceptions of the MSM are highly selective and based on it.

          Beyond that, it’s a waste of time arguing with one such as you – so deluded are you that any confrontation must give him a real buzz.

          Far better to talk among ourselves ABOUT what you “argue” so repetitively – and undermine it very easily, in order for shared reality (rather than unsubtantiated clap trap) to be put on record.

  4. I see this time the police did not stop Harvey filming. Things may be looking up .. in Scotland at least.

    It is ironical that Israel allows anti-Israeli groups to roam around the West bank with their cameras but the people in England, like that Mick Napier, object so much to being filmed in Scotland.

    Perhaps the garbage he spews out embarrasses even him.

    • I doubt it, AKUS. He hasn’t the insight to realise how he is perceived. Were he capable of feeling embarrassed he wouldn’t associate himself with the PSC

  5. Mitnaged. 100% spot on. The PSC are not driven by any decent intention towards the Palestinian Arabs – only a hatred of Israel.

    Rich A – there’s so much in the world you’ll never understand.

      • FYI Ken O’Keefe is American (even if he ditched his US passport).

        And the vast majority of Scots and Irish have nowt to do with such extreme anti-Israel activism anyway.

            • Because ken says so. What you or other Irish say or think is neither here nor Derry mate. Jerusalem is the capital and Ken is Irish. Basta.

            • I mean read what you write Pretzl. Ken is no longer a US citizen, thank god. So how can he be American? This is absurd. Childish. He’s got the citizenship, he lives there and he hates the USA and loves Hamas.

  6. Hi Cityca
    Make it a large one in that case
    Great blog Richard . It’s an honour to ride tandem with you on this one ! The pub made for an excellent office .

  7. Lots of anger coming from the bash-Israel crowd. They’ve got issues, alright. I don’t think there’s a psychologist on the planet who can read the likes of Ali Abomination or Ben White Sheet and not suggest some sort of pill to chill them out. It’s okay, I guess. Let others speak when they may…. unless, of course, all they speak of are lies, and all they try to communicate is intimidation. How is that working for you, Palestine? Got your state yet?

    3 state offers from 3 different PMs and these buffoons continue to insist that not only are they saner than the rest of the planet, but that their reasons for hating Jews and Zionists and Israelis is understandable. Well, that self-delusion hasn’t worked in over 3000 years, and I doubt it’s going to start now. The “israel will one day cease to exist” mantra hasn’t quite worked out, has it?

    Cycles of futility will lead to insanity. You see this in chat rooms and, apparently, at bash-Israel celebrations. Again, not that I care about these worthless fuckwads and how they choose to waste their lives. But, for the sake of my sanity, I would just like them to shut up for a week.

    Just to see how it goes.

    • koufaxmitzvah, the anger comes from a place of insecurity about what they really believe. The focus on Israel-hatred gives them release.

      I have long believed that many of these rootless and misguided useful idiots feel emotionally dead inside for most of the time. I once worked with an extreme animal rights person who had a phobia of feeling bored because it meant – to him – that he didn’t exist. His OTT anger (which got him into a lot of trouble and which was why I was working with him) found an outlet in animal rights activism of the type that wrecks things, rather than the quite justifiable concern for the welfare of animals, and I believe he was willing to hurt human animals in the pursuit of his ideal and in order to get that release and feel righteous.

      The PSC/ISM useful idiots are similarly inclined, I think. They are otherwise aimless and rootless in their lives and rather than sit with that discomfort and try to find out where it comes from and place the blame for it where it lies, they prefer to blame others, particularly Israelis/Jews. They get high on their hatred, which is like a drug to them, and when they “come down” they feel as if their lives have no purpose. Given their phobia of boredom or depression and of sitting with that discomfort until it passes, they seek out their next “fix” of Zionist/Jew-hatred.

      They have no conception of what this does to the Palestinians either, whose leaders nevertheless use THEM as propaganda tools, just as the PSC/ISM needs to use the Palestinians as objects of pity so that they can feel that their cause is a just one.

      Ask yourselves, what would these idiots do if the Palestinian leadership suddenly came to its right mind and pursued a permanent peace?

      • Excellent post Mitnaged. I think you’re right. Most of these people are far more concerned with doing damage than with helping Palestinian Arabs to build a state. Their focus is very much on negative action.

      • Yes, these sad individuals seem to have a vacuum in their lives.
        But I’m not so sure this is about Jew hatred. A lot of the same or similar people will take out their frustration via e.g. anti-American (or -British) protests. It’s about supporting the underdog – or, more importantly, attacking the perceived oppressor.

    • lol, no one needs to twist Yishai’s words. He is a walking talking caricature of the racist hard liner. What was it he said recently? Something along the lines of wanting to make asylum seekers so miserable that they would want to leave?

      What a guy.

      • He said that they would face deportation and arrest and that would make their lives bitter. I don’t agree with Yishai’s politics, but it’s interesting that Israel-bashing libero-fascists would use that angle whereas illegal Mexican immigrants get a free pass. That’s on land, which according to the libero-fascist standards that they apply uniquely to Israel, belongs to Mexico.

  8. I wasn’t at the Playhouse (or the Globe earlier this year), but I can well imagine the audience thinking: “what a bunch of arseholes”.

    These protesters are so dogmatic that they don’t realise their actions are completely counterproductive in terms of support for their cause.
    Or perhaps they do but don’t care. They seem more interested in promoting themselves anyway than in any sincere desire for ME peace.

    As for this Napier specimen: “Tell him to put his camera away. It’s intimidating. We know what they do with images. They use it to torture.”

    God I’d be so embarrassed to know such a cretin.

    • I agree with you pretzelberg. Complete lack of insight is a first order symptom of OTT activism of this sort.

  9. Just a small update
    Leading up to the performances , the Scottish Psc fly posted in the main tourist and shopping centres including Princes Street and the Royal Mile . As soon as we heard about it , we contacted Edinburgh Council who dealt with the problem expeditiously and agreed that the flyers constituted hate literature .
    I’m now informed that one of their number was caught in the act of posting a flyer , was given a penalty notice and advised that an action for recovery of monies spent on clearing the detritus would be levied against the miscreant .
    Well done to everyone involved in bringing this to the notice of Edinburgh Council .
    Grass roots activism works . It’s essential . It should be properly funded .

  10. I only just got around to watching that first video clip. I cracked up laughing.

    Napier: “[Harvey] with his video camera is an example of how Zionists get images of people and use them negatively.”

    Given that you are acting like a complete dickhead in uttering those very words, Mr Napier, the footage of you could hardly be “used” in anything but a negative fashion.