Friday, 2 September 2011

Greenbelt 2011

I’ve experienced a kind of Greenbelt overload since last week. I think this is because it was the first time I'd been and also because of what I was doing there: reporting for the Methodist Recorder and compiling a podcast for Methodist Web Radio. The podcast is here and the Recorder piece will be out next week.

Here are a few photos from the festival:

The Mainstage at Greenbelt

Debate on poverty in the UK

George Luke, DJ and gig organiser for the Performance Cafe

The Performance Cafe

Writer and performer, Stella Duffy

Me in front of Mainstage in between rain showers, looking no way near as stylish as Stella.

Isreali Philharmonic Orchestra targeted by Protesters

I feel for the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra this morning after a small group of protesters wrecked their performance at The Royal Albert Hall last night. The concert had to be pulled live off air from BBC Radio 3. You can hear the protesters shouting: “Off, off, off,” on a recording featured on The Telegraph online today. What got me was that Communications Minister Ed Vaizey, who was in the audience, tweeted: “Demonstrators seemed to have turned the entire audience pro-Israel.”

I’ll say it again: Being Pro-Israel does not mean that you are anti-Palestinian or that you endorse every policy that the Israeli Government makes. I am pro-Israel. That doesn’t mean I support the denial of human rights. For all the protesters know, the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra doesn’t support oppression either. And yet they get booed off the stage purely because they are Israelis. No one equates the statement: “I am pro-American” with the same logic; that is: “I support all American foreign policy.” Why does this happen with Israel? Now it seems that anyone from Israel, whether that someone be a musician, an athlete, an artist or a writer, is a controversial figure merely for being Israeli. I remember meeting a tourist from Tel Aviv in a London pub. She hadn’t said anything more than where she came from, but it was enough for a couple of people around her not to want to have anything more to do with her.

Ed Vaizey’s final tweet last night was a link to this blog post, which is worth reading.