Groups boycott Israeli dance troupe in New York

Two New York–based human rights groups organized a boycott of performances by Israel’s national dance company.

Adalah-NY: the New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel and the New York chapter of Artists Against Apartheid announced the boycott in an open letter to the Batsheva Dance Company, which is currently performing in New York through Oct. 3.

The letter said the groups were calling the boycott because of the company’s “collaboration with the Israeli state and its ‘Brand Israel’ campaign.” Brand Israel is a government PR initiative.

“Batsheva continues to affirm its relationship with the Brand Israel campaign, as evidenced by the funding you receive from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the co-sponsorship of your New York performances by the Office of Cultural Affairs, Consulate General of Israel in New York,” the letter contended.

“We hope that one day soon Batsheva will take a strong, unequivocal stance against Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and in support of justice and equality for all,” the letter said. “Until then, we will continue to urge a popular boycott of your performances in New York City and elsewhere.” — jta