by Liz Lochhead, poet, dramatist and Scottish Makar
2 September 2012
...I was glad to join other Scottish artists and writers in signing a letter protesting the appearance of the Israeli Batsheva Dance Company at the Edinburgh International Festival this week. Why? Because I have been profoundly changed by what I witnessed and experienced first hand during a short trip with a few student friends and some other poets and singers to Palestine this June...
...we must use all possible means, all the time, always, of bringing the attention of our world to the Israeli apartheid, for that is what it is – to the appalling and illegal actions of Israel. The Wall. The settlements...Israel denies human rights to Palestinians. Denies that they are human beings at all.
...the arrogance of the soldier demanding the passports at Kalandia Checkpoint; or the heart-breaking testimony of the man in the tent in the desert with his thin sheep and scrawny goats in the burning stones of the Jordan Valley who had endured two house demolitions, rebuilt and resisted, and resisted – but was giving up and moving to the ghetto of the nearby "city" because the Israelis were disrupting the service of the school bus every other day, and he just couldn't bear to see his children deprived of an education?
...We must use all means. Including protesting at a dance company. Including total cultural and academic boycott.
Extracted from original at Herald on Sunday 2 Sept 2012