Plug pulled on Israeli fringe show after protests

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Israeli fringe show is axed after pro-Palestine protests

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31st July 2014 by Graham Martin 1 Comment

A stage show by an Israeli state-funded theatre group has been cancelled after protsts were held outside it.

Billed as a hip-hop opera, Jerusalem-based Incubator Theatre Group’s The City was due to run at the Underbelly during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe until August 25.

However, the plug was pulled after just one performance when it was targeted by pro-Palestinian protestors.

The protestors claimed that Incubator is linked to the Israeli state – the same state which is "massacring" civilians in the on-going assault on Gaza.

A spokesman for Underbelly said: "After discussions, it was agreed that future performances of The City would be cancelled.

"The  logistics of policing and stewarding the protest around The Reid Hall – and the effect of the disturbance on Underbelly and other venues’ other shows – make it untenable for the show to continue in the Cow Barn, Reid Hall.

If the artists were unconnected with the Israeli state we would have no issue with them

"Underbelly and Incubator Theatre will work to identify other suitable venues for the show to perform at in Edinburgh.

"All tickets for forthcoming performances of The City in the Cowbarn, Reid Hall will be refunded. When an alternative venue is found, customers will be able to book tickets for that show separately."

Mick Napier, secretary of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said: "The massacre in Gaza is now well into four figures and overwhelmingly that is civilians and a huge number of children.

"Hospitals and schools are being shelled, some repeatedly, and it's unacceptable that an Israeli state-sponsored cultural event should go ahead at the Edinburgh Fringe.

"If the artists were unconnected with the Israeli state we would have no issue with them."

However, the show's promoters, John Walker Productions, said the theatre company works across communities in both the Jewish and Arab districts of Jerusalem.

1st August 2014 by Janet Mundy

Arts groups throughout the world rely on public subsidy, otherwise they can't afford to operate. This practice of bullying Israeli theatre and dance groups so that they are unable to perform in Edinburgh runs counter to everything the Fringe is supposed to represent. A cultural boycott is not going to change anything for the better for the Palestinians caught up in this awful conflict.