This picture from the Proms website beautifully illustrates the collaboration between Nigel Kennedy and the young musicians of the Palestine Strings. BBC/Chris Christodoulou
In an astonishingly supine display of cowardice, the BBC has bowed to pressure from Zionist lobbyists and said it intends to cut out an allusion to Israeli apartheid when it broadcasts a Promenade concert by the brilliant and mercurial violinist Nigel Kennedy.
Kennedy, a long-standing supporter of Palestinian rights, used the word “apartheid” in a brief reference to the hostile life circumstances of young Palestinian musicians performing with him at the Royal Albert Hall in London on August 8.
“Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a bit facile to say it, but we all know from experiencing this night of music tonight, that given equality and getting rid of apartheid gives a beautiful chance for amazing things to happen.”
The concert had indeed shown that, in the face of adversity, Palestinian musicians could hold their own on one of the most prestigious of world stages. Audience reaction on the night was rapturous and reviews by music critics in the Times, Guardian, Independent and Telegraph were overwhelmingly favourable.
An in-depth advance piece in the Financial Times had offered a valuable insight into the way music and politics are intertwined in the lives of Palestinian players.
It must have been fury at the granting of a such a high-profile platform to Palestinian cultural self-expression that sent the pro-Israel camp into a vengeful frenzy. Marcus Dysch, political correspondent at the incorrigibly Zionist Jewish Chronicle, wrote that former BBC governor Baroness Deech had demanded an apology from Kennedy for his “offensive and untrue” remarks.
Tweeting about the story he had written, Dysch celebrated a deliberate attempt to undermine the growing boycott movement directed at Israeli crimes:
“Another #BDSfail – BBC to cut Nigel Kennedy’s anti-Israel rant from Proms broadcast”
Even the JC editors thought “anti-Israel rant” was a bit strong, preferring to label Kennedy’s innocuous words a “slur”.
A campaign is now underway to stop the BBC redacting Kennedy’s offending truths from its August 23 Prom broadcast.
Sign the petition.
Comment on the Proms Facebook page
Write to BBC chairman Chris Patten (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com), copying the BBC Trust (firstname.lastname@example.org) and asking them to make sure your letter goes to Patten and relevant executives.