BDS Philistines target the Jerusalem Quartet

BDS Philistines target the Jerusalem Quartet


norman lebrecht

November 06, 2015

The Israel boycott lobby have turned again on the Jerusalem Quartet, trying to black their next performance at the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon.

The BDS, whose supporters have previously disrupted their London recitals, state – absurdly – that the quartet are cultural ambassadors of Israel.

They are nothing of the sort, just four outstanding musicians trying to play Beethoven and Schubert.

Those who try to stop them are philistines.



jerusalem quartet poster


  • Boris says:

    They definitely don’t “try” to play Beethoven or Schubert, they do.

    The protestors I’ve seen at JSQ concerts are usually misinformed and misguided who would rather scream nonsense that they read in a pamphlet than engage in any sort of meaningful informative dialogue.

  • Max Grimm says:

    I find the boycott of JSQ concert to be an excellent idea. Maybe this way, those who want to listen to the music can actually do so, without vociferant interruptions.
    Regardless of political/religious opinions, most people who buy tickets for a chamber music concert, do not pay to hear someone interrupt the music by talking about their personal views; be they performer or listener.

    • Mathieu says:

      spot on

    • John Borstlap says:

      Nonsense. Apart from a perfectly legitimate defence against idiocy, the quartet is not proclaiming any opinion, they play the music. The boycot of the JSQ is ridiculous, and highly offensive (the poster with the guns… the makers should be taken to court).

      • Max Grimm says:

        I think you neglected one crucial component whilst reading my comment.

        • John Borstlap says:

          This component sticks-out of the comment: “I find the boycott of JSQ concert to be an excellent idea”, inviting for a reaction.

          • Max Grimm says:

            “…the quartet is not proclaiming any opinion, they play the music.”
            I never said that the JSQ made any proclamation. I said that people attending classical music concerts didn’t pay for non-musical commentary, regardless who delivers the commentary.

  • Ruth Kraus says:

    Shameful and idiotic behaviour by the BDS.

    • Jeffrey E. Salzberg says:

      Well, the point could be made that boycotting Israel based upon what they’re certain *must* be so, instead of actually learning what’s going on, is pretty idiotic in and of itself.

  • Tim Walton says:

    The two violinists were born in the Ukraine, the violist was born in the USA and the cellist was born in Belarus.

    How many of the morons in the BDS know this

  • Tommo says:

    Surely it is against the law for political activists to disrupt a concert that they disapprove of for whatever reason. No-one is opposing their right to demonstrate outside the venue but to carry it into the concert hall, like they do in the UK, is mindless and proves nothing. It was noted that in Brighton at the JSQ recital the police refused to attend the demonstration even though they knew beforehand that pro-Palestinian thugs intended to disrupt the concert. Consequently the venue staff were left to eject the low life which exposed them to abuse and threats of violence.

    • V.Lind says:

      Maybe if we did not consider everyone who hold the opposing view “thugs” (if they are carrying out an exterior, peaceful demonstration — those in Wigmore were out of line and perhaps there ought to be a law preventing such actions without penalty) there would be more chance of peace. There are thugs on both sides, but not all on either side are.

      • Tommo says:

        Concert goes are thugs too? Why? For buying a ticket to a concert? You clearly don’t know what these activists are like and what their aims are. To talk of a chance of peace is not to understand anything about Palestinian/Israeli conflict and the worldwide movement to bring Israel down. You need to wake up.

        • CDH says:

          To sneer at the possibility of peace is to conform what every sane thinker in the world believes is the entrenched attitude of the government of Israel, deny it though they will. Surprising as it may seem, a lot of people consider Palestinians to be human beings, and both the official and unofficial rhetoric that has emanated from those supporting an Israeli “hard line” has naturally alienated those who would choose to see them as human and therefore to be accommodated in some way. Most people were shocked that a group as badly treated by history as the Jewish people could dismiss another group so comprehensively. It is hardly surprising that the most extreme sorts of Israeli intransigence have engendered support for these other people.

          And, no, it has nothing to do with concert-goers. The only thugs at concerts are those with cellphones.

          • Tommo says:

            So it’s Israel’s fault that there is no peace even after all the concessions made to Hamas to bring peace about. No amount of Israeli deaths from Palestine aggression would convince you Arab lovers that it just might be their fault that Israel has to protect itself against terrorism and people get killed because of it. And no amount of bias can hide the truth spouted openly by Hamas that they want all of the land and all the Jews dead.

        • Max Grimm says:

          I personally believe that I, my future children and my future children’s children have a better chance of seeing the moon crash into the Atlantic before seeing peace between Israel and Palestine.
          But what would you want to see happen?

  • David Ward says:

    FWIW, the only time I have personally experienced a concert interrupted by political activists was several decades ago when a performance in London by a visiting Russian orchestra was three times brought to a halt by people shouting: ‘Free Shcharansky’.

    I wonder whether, giving its likely etymology, ‘Philistines’ is the quite the most useful word to use here.

    All that apart, I very much support the efforts by Barenboim to bring Arabs and Israelis together through his West-Eastern Divan, although I understand he has received death threats from some quarters for his pains.

  • Baron Z says:

    It doesn’t matter if they are ambassadors or not. If they were, they should still not be subjected to such treatment, just as the State of Israel should not. But Anti-Semitism rules these days, thanks to Moslem sympathizers.