London Philharmonic Orchestra player suspended for anti-Israel outburst

London Philharmonic Orchestra player suspended for anti-Israel outburst


norman lebrecht

September 09, 2011

Today’s Jewish Chronicle breaks the news that a player in the LPO has been suspenced by the orchestra after she launched a diatribe against three Israel Philharmonic musicians during a pre-Proms event last week.

The player has not been named, and I see no reason here to add to her punishment, already severe.

In the same issue of the JC, I amplify my own position on the single-issue sympathy tourists – Jews who, after one carefully guided visit to the West Bank adopt the view that Israel is the root of all evil. Read it here.



  • Geoff Pahoff says:

    My God.

    I cannot believe that the security provided for a performance of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in London right now should be so slight it did not detect flags and banners. What are you allowed to take into a concert at the Royal Albert? Uzis?

    Mind you, it would be tough on the RAH to expect it to prepare security standards for an attack by Al-Qaeda but I hope somebody did.

    Maybe the Royal Albert Jerks did the authorities a favour. We now know some believe it is legitimate to attack a performing orchestra because it is a symbol of something they really really hate. If we didn’t already. It is of course incidental that symbol is really really Jewish. It comes as no surprise at all and matters not a fig that some of them right now are trying to look as Jewish as possible.

    It may timely for all music halls to review their security protocols. They can thank the Royal Albert Jerks for that.

  • What can a reasonable person say about this? There is no reason for intolerance and hatred in this world. I suppose performing Beethoven’s 9th and the Ode to Joy hasn’t done much for some people.
    Ahnest du den Schöpfer, Welt?
    Such’ ihn überm Sternenzelt!
    Über Sternen muss er wohnen.
    We should remember the message of the 9th: Alle Menschen werden Brüder.

  • Geoff Pahoff says:

    You have said everything a reasonable person can say about this, Justin Saragoza. Nothing much worthwhile can be added.

    There is one thing

    That incident at the RAH was upsetting and alarming on a number of levels and should not be laboured, but the role of British Jews in the affair, and indeed in the wider global BDS campaign, deserves more comment.

    This is sad but it came as no surprise at all that some of those involved in this ugly stunt identify as Jews and I’m looking from the other side of the world. No one believes Jewishness offers immunity from crude stupidity and there certainly is quite a bit of that. However the image of a Jewish professional class classical musician jumping and crying like a two year old princess at the supermarket during a guest IsraelPO performance in London is hard to let go. It begs questions like what is going on in London?

    BDS is a nasty insidious little campaign which relies on deception. Those who associate with it can expect to be confronted with the question they refuse to ask their “friends”. Is there room for a Jewish state between the river and the sea? BDS says no. Fatah says no. Hamas says kill all the Jews. So do a lot of other people. Where do you stand?

    BDS is a global campaign so expect a global response. This response is the true human rights campaign. It is insane to expect Israelis, Arabs or Jews, to give up all their rights without a fight.. Those who support it are supporting a tactic that has at its centre “uniting” by hatred. It has nothing to do with “peace”. There’s certainly nothing in it for the Palestinians. No peace for them.

    All they have to do is accept Israel as the Jewish state. Then they can have their state and everyone can get on with their lives in peace. The benefits are enormous. The economic benefits alone would drive prosperity for the peoples of both nations forever.

    Why don’t they? For those who spoke up in support of this symbolic attack : it’s a fair question to ask your “friends” and it’s fair to ask you. Where do you stand?

  • Julian Rowlands says:

    I would like to think that some of the musicians who gave their support to the protest were under the illusion that the BDS movement is a reputable and broadly based campaign, although this would suggest a considerable lack of diligence on their part, especially given the track record of the main protest participants.

    For a critique of BDS I would recommend this interview with leading theorist of anti-zionism Noam Chomsky:

    It is shocking that UK musicians have attempted to discriminate against their professional colleagues on the basis of nationality,.but It is also very sad that the LPO has found it necessary to take this draconian action. However I can understand that this may have been their only option in order to protect the reputation of the orchestra.

  • Philip says:

    I don’t see why she hasn’t been been named. I, for one, would very much like to know whether she will be taken back so I can boycott her future performances.