Do Unto Others focuses on the Middle East, (nonviolent) social movements, and how I make sense of my place in the world. I'm currently based in Cairo, Egypt doing peacebuilding and community development.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Say NO to the Cape Town Opera

The Cape Town Opera came to Tel Aviv, performing Porgy and Bess.  The Cape Town Opera came against the request of Desmond Tutu, who called for their scheduled performance in Israel to be cancelled.  
Anarchists Against the Wall, The Coalition of Women for Peace, and others perform their alternative opera. 

Desmond Tutu said the tour should be postponed "until both Israeli and Palestinian opera lovers of the region have equal opportunity and unfettered access to attend performances".
"Only the thickest-skinned South Africans would be comfortable performing before an audience that excluded residents living, for example, in an occupied West Bank village 30 minutes from Tel Aviv.

"To perform Porgy and Bess, with its universal message of non-discrimination, in the present state of Israel, is unconscionable." (from the BBC)

Nonetheless, the Opera group decided to perform in Israel.  In response, a group of anti-occupation/anti-apartheid Israeli activists appropriated songs from Porgy and Bess and performed them outside of the opera hall the night of the performance.  A creative, effective protest that looks like it was terrificly fun to practice and perform.  And what is harder to challenge than a group of Jewish Israeli, Tel Aviv residents, who are against the policies of Israel and against foreign opera groups whitewashing their countries' apartheid policies?

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