FOR IMMEDIATE USE
Monday 4th August
Israeli press reports have confirmed that the planned production at the Edinburgh Fringe by Ben-Gurion University dance group Pola has been cancelled.
The Jerusalem Post reports that “Ben-Gurion University of the Negev on Sunday canceled the planned performances of its student dance company at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe next week..”
This follows the cancellation of the hip hop opera by Israeli state funded Incubator Theatre at the Underbelly last week after protests led by the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
Israeli media also claim that the search for an alternative venue in Edinburgh is being supported by Scottish Government despite the massive outpouring of public anger over the murder of more than 1,700 Palestinians by Israel. YNET News quote Rafi Gimzu, vice president and head of the Foreign Ministry's Cultural Affairs Division and Science (DCSA) who claims the Israeli embassy “is in close contact with the management of the Edinburgh Festival, the Ministry of Culture of Scotland and the local police”.
Recent reports, which have not been denied, claim that the Scottish Government plans to boycott planned events of the UK-Russia Year of Culture.
A spokesperson for SPSC said “The Scottish Government has to come clean over its position on boycott. It cannot withdraw support for one cultural event and then work against the rising popular opposition to the massacre of innocent Palestinians.
“Over the last few weeks there have been protests the length and breadth of Scotland, demonstrating the public’s opposition to the brutal and criminal actions of the Israeli government. The killing in Gaza must stop and instead of aiding and abetting the Israeli government, Fiona Hyslop and the Scottish Government must stand with the people of Scotland and send a clear message to the world that we oppose the massacre in Gaza and will do everything in our gift to stop it.”
A spokesperson for the Association of Palestinian Communities in Scotland said “As refugees from Palestine we live in constant fear of receiving a telephone or text message telling us that another family member or friend has been killed.
“The support and friendship we receive from the people of Scotland is being betrayed by the Scottish government’s refusal to support our call for the comprehensive boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against the Israeli state until its crimes against the Palestinian people end. This call includes Israeli stated funded theatre.
“The Israeli government continues to seek out cultural events to sponsor at the same time as it is murdering Palestinians.”