Guardian errs on Brian Eno boycott story – Batsheva in Italy evidently not funded by embassy

A British musician (and anti-Israel activist) named Brian Eno denied permission for the Israeli dance company Batsheva to continue using his music for a series of performances in Italy, the Guardian reported yesterday in a Sept. 7th article by their Jerusalem correspondent Peter Beaumont.


Of course, nobody familiar with Eno’s hatred towards Israel would be surprised by his decision to boycott Batsheva. However, there was one element of the Guardian article which caught our eye – the claim that the Israeli embassy sponsored the dance performance, which represents the main reason cited by Eno in denying them permission to use his music.

First, there’s this in the strapline:


Then, in the opening paragraph:

The composer and producer Brian Eno has denied permission for one of Israel’s most critically acclaimed dance companies to continue using his music for a series of performances in Italy after he discovered that the Israeli embassy was sponsoring the event.

Then, five paragraphs down:

According to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, the dance piece using Eno’s music – entitled Humus – was due to be performed on Tuesday at the TorinoDanza festival at the Teatro Regio in Turin, but was withdrawn after Eno was made aware of the Israeli embassy sponsorship. His name has been removed from the festival’s website.

Finally, there’s this, twelve paragraphs down:

“To my understanding, the Israeli embassy (and therefore the Israeli government) will be sponsoring the upcoming performances, and, given that I’ve been supporting the BDS campaign for several years now, this is an unacceptable prospect for me.

However, this is not true, according to Batsheva, per a phone conversation and email exchange we had with spokeswoman Noa Ron.

Here’s a screenshot of her email to us about an hour ago:

(See referenced letter to Mr. Eno from Batsheva, here: brian-eno-pr-eng-september-8-2016.)

Tellingly, we’ve learned that Beaumont never contacted Batsheva for a comment prior to publishing his story.

We’ve contacted the Guardian asking for a correction.

We’ve also tweeted Mr. Eno, informing him that his assertion evidently was not true.

20 replies »

  1. Guardian tries so hard to legitimize their hatred of Israel as being anything but a result of rampant, systematic anti-Semitism by going so far as changing the facts on the ground. Just like their war coverage.

  2. It’s a bit unfair asking Beaumont to do some simple fact checking before writing an article. All he has to do is attack Israel and The Grauniad will publish it.

  3. With people like Brian Eno or Peter Beaumont the object is not to right a specific wrong that might be cited. As we see, facts don’t matter, the object is to hurt someone, anyone Israeli or connected with Israel

  4. Ironic.

    Batsheva is based in Israel, not the West Bank (or Gaza!!!) so his BDS stance is revealed as attacking everything Israeli, not only products or activities based in the WB.

    Proof again that BDS is nothing more than an attack on Israel’s legitimacy.

    • One of the first prominent musicians (and Brian Eno is a legend, highly talented, unfortunately for the impact his venom will have on the naive, or actually virulent haters of Jews and Israel) to openly express antisemitism was the composer Richard Wagner, as is well known. Wagner’s disgusting views eventually impelled his erstwhile admirer Nietzsche to write Der Fall Wagner, The Case of Wagner, one of the most scathing denunciations of both antisemitism and Wagner’s version of it in particular, of the entire nineteenth century. It’s no accident that the Nazis had to excise numerous passages from Nietzsche’s writings in order to utilize him for their noxious propaganda.
      There needs to be some kind of organized critical pushback against Eno in particular, and of course, this website and this account of his views is a great place to start. .

  5. Eno, despite his own high self-regard, is no moral giant, and the dance company should use some music from a Jewish composer. Jewish composers have been known to compose some of the best music known to the western world, in case someone at the Guardian or Mr. Eno doesn’t know it. Mr.Eno, we don’t need you and using your music is doing you a favor, so you may shove the score up yours, you arrogant shit.
    Shame on Eno and the Guardian for their transparent antisemitism, and their excuse laden bullshit support for the long Arab war on the Middle East’s Jewish minority. F ’em.

      • He studied “experimental music” at school. What was the experiment, and how’d it turn out?
        “”Music for Airports,” not exactly “Romeo and Juliet,” is it?

        • You would only impress people aware of Brian Eno’s role as a music producer over many decades with your ignorance in pursuing this dismissive, clueless line of attack. One problem is that he actually IS highly talented, and the idea already mooted, to use compositions by a Jewish composer or composers, is a far better strategy for countering his toxic support of the BDS idiots.

          • “people aware of Brian Eno’s role as a music producer”
            And how many people would that be?

            “he actually IS highly talented,”
            How many people share this opinion of yours?
            or just you and Brian Eno?

          • Richard Turnbull,
            You’ve written many good and solid comments which I liked. No offense, but I couldn’t give a shit about Eno’s role as a music producer. As for being highly talented in your estimation, quite frankly, as a musician I have my own standards. I know personally many, many highly talented musicians whom you will never ever hear of. Several can write and/or perform memorable music that could melt your heart.
            But maybe that’s all beside the point. I read a bit of his bio, saw that he studied “experimental” music at school. Then, I saw a youtube of him asserting that Israel had, of all things, conducted an “experiment” by allegedly shoving as many people as it could into as small an area as it could, etc. Half minute of this moron attempting to Nazify Israel, and by extension, Jews, was more than enough.
            It was a grotesque display of malice combined with ignorance. How’s that for an experiment?! As far as I’m concerned he doesn’t belong on the same planet as me, and I’m not moving.
            So basically what we have here is a guy who “made it” in music, which is an awful business. He is an ignorant asshole who knows his way around a mixing board. BTW, I sampled some of the stuff he wrote, and, quite honestly, I thought it was shit. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.