UK shuns Israeli festival
Tuesday 15 August 1995
With its partners in the European Union, the Government is refusing to fund or encourage British performers to take part in the events, which begin next month and continue throughout 1996. The embargo may exclude Britain from other annual events such as the Israel Festival and the Jerusalem Film Festival, as well as a conference of the World Health Organisation which have been included in the orbit of Jerusalem 3000.
A spokesman for the British embassy in Tel Aviv said "support for Jerusalem 3000 would be construed by other parties as de facto support for the consolidation of the Jewish hold on Jerusalem, less than a year before the future of the city is to be discussed in the final-status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
"The whole thing is going to be primarily a Jewish affair. Because of that, and the timing, we felt we had to make clear our political position. We are explaining this to the local authorities and anyone who comes to us for advice, but we are not stopping any private group or individual from appearing".
The advance programme, published last week, lists no British artists, while opera companies from Germany and Italy receive star billing. One of the opening events is a performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, part of which is the European anthem, by the Deutsche Staatsoper, under its Israeli conductor, Daniel Barenboim. The concert is a gift to the city of Jerusalem from the city of Berlin. But neither the Staatsoper nor the Arena di Verona open-air production of Verdi's Nabucco will receive central-government subsidies.
The EU's decision was reported to the Israeli Foreign Ministry at the weekend by the ambassadors of Spain, Italy and France. The Italian ambassador, Giuseppe Panocchia, said afterwards: "We are sorry that the Jerusalem 3000 festival does not reflect the distinct contributions of all religious groups to the city."
The right-wing Likud Mayor of Jerusalem, Ehud Olmert, replied that the festival had the blessing of the Vatican. The programme includes an exhibition on the contribution of Islam to Western arts and science, a celebration of Gospel singing and an exhibition of Jerusalem's Jewish, Christian and Muslim marriage customs. "These celebrations are not a political event," said the Mayor. "They are an expression of the historical and cultural unity of Jerusalem ... "
Geoffrey Macnab does not like the comedian's big screen debut
Look beyond the usual shows for the best festive telly
The battle for control of Stieg Larsson's £30m legacy
French pub fined €9,000 after customers returned empties to bar - because it's 'undeclared labour'
Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
PAs cleared of fraud - and Nigella Lawson left reeling at 'ridiculous sideshow' of drug allegations and public dissection of marriage to Charles Saatchi
Burglar steals video tapes of child abuse, hands them into police
Paul Walker's daughter Meadow attends Justin Bieber Believe premiere
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
- 1 Bonuses for goals and top four finish as Luiz Suarez joins Premier League's top three earners
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 #Teamnigella: It’s the only side to be on
- 4 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 5 Burglar steals video tapes of child abuse, hands them into police
- < Previous
- Next >
£25000 - £35000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: PHP Deve...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: This Big 4 giant is seeking ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: Do you have personal tax exp...
£22000 - £37000 per annum: Capita Education Resourcing Permanent Team: This se...