Protest Against “Israel 61″ IDF Dance Show
This propaganda stunt for the Israeli army, so close after the Israeli military offensive in Gaza, is unacceptable. While Palestinians are dying in Gaza because of the siege imposed by the Israeli army, the planned Israel 61 celebrations is like dancing on their graves. Most aid is still denied by the siege imposed by the Israeli army. Even drawing and colouring material IFY had sent last month to the traumatised children in Yibna refugee camp in Gaza was barred by the Israeli imposed siege.
Israel 61 is celebrating the 61 years most of the 1.5 million Palestinians have been forced to live as refugees. They became refugees 61 years when they were ethnic cleansed from their homes which led to the creation of Israel and they are still denied their right of return. Also, the unrelenting Israeli attacks on the Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem is no cause for celebration.
Write to artsdepot – see details below.
Join the protest, starting from 7pm – see details below.
Victory: Bloomsbury Venue cancelled
The event was cancelled at Bloomsbury Theatre. This victory against the Israel 61 was reported in the Guardian [see http://www.guardian .co.uk/world/ 2009/apr/ 20/israeli- dance-troupe- london ].
The Israel 61 event is now moved to artsdepot at North Finchley [www.artsdepott. co.uk].
The venue is still kept secrete by the organiser, the Zionist Federation [ZF]. Even this morning, 24 April, the Jewish Chronicle still claims: “It will now take place at a secret location in north London” [see http://www.thejc. com/articles/ banned-do- they-offend- you ]. Meanwhile we had already launched our public campaign and had already received responses from the artsdepot [see more details below].
The immense anger at the plans to celebrate Israel 61 made us determined to expose this secret location. Thanks to all those who helped find out the new venue, enabling us to inform the venue that the IDF is part of the program, in spite of it no longer being advertised on the ZF website [see https://zionist. org.uk/ ] and launch protests against this grotesque celebration.
Letters to artsdepot
We have already exchanged communication with the artsdepot [Charles.McKenzie@ artsdepot. co.uk, Charles McKenzie, Head of Business Development 020 8369 5471]. A summary of the issues will be sent later. One of the issues is that inspite of reports in the Guardian that the IDF will be performing [see http://www.guardian .co.uk/world/ 2009/apr/ 20/israeli- dance-troupe- london ] and the Jewish Chronicle promotes it as “Civvies: Members of the IDF entertainment troupe who are due to take part in the Zionist Federation show, wearing their own clothes” [see http://www.thejc. com/articles/ banned-do- they-offend- you ], the artsdepot is denying this. It appears the artsdepot relies on the performers and audience not wearing uniform at artsdepot, which is unsatisfactory. So far artsdepot has failed to provide firm details of its claims.
Protest from 7pm
1. Date: Tuesday 28 April
2. Time: Start from 7pm,
3. Location: outside artsdepot at:
5 Nether St, Tally Ho Corner, North Finchley N12 0GA.
Tube: Northern Line (High Barnet branch) – any of the 3 tube stations: West Finchley, Finchley Central and Woodside Park
Buses: 82, 125, 134, 221, 263, 460
4. If you wish, bring your own poster [to ensure the audience is aware of your views].
5. If you wish, bring your own sound instruments [to ensure the audience hear you].
When protesting we will especially remember the situation of our friends in Yibna refugee camp in Gaza, which gets worse and worse. Earlier this week, a coalition of International Aid Agencies including Oxfam highlighted the continuing inhumane blockade of Gaza by the Israelis, stating that months after the Israeli military offensive, the world stands by while the people of Gaza remain in a state of continuing humanitarian crisis. UNICEF and the UN World Health Organisation this week were alarmed by the increasing numbers of children suffering from acute malnutrition and the trend is deteriorating rapidly.
The Zionist Federation compared the show to the BBC 1970’s comedy It Ain’t Half Hot Mum set in the pre-independence Asian sub-continent. Initially their publicity pictured uniformed IDF soldiers, but this was then changed to pictures of these soldiers in civvies. After the event had been cancelled in Bloomsbury Theatre it was re-arranged at the artsdepot, which the Zionist Federation embarrassingly refused to disclose. To paraphrase a more enlightened BBC Comedy, I can’t believe there is a funny side to this grotesque celebration after the slaughter of hundreds of women and children in Gaza by the very same Israeli Army that is promoting a song and dance troupe.
Chair of Islington Friends of Yibna [IFY]
Islington_Yibna@ yahoo.co. uk
07880 731 865