But inevitably the usual suspects have mobilised against the visit – "Don't Dance With Israeli Apartheid" is the name of a Facebook page, for example.
On the website of the Edinburgh Festival an anti-Israel activist writes
"Batsheva is the pretty face of the Israeli regime - heavily funded by the state, it is a major Israeli tourist attraction and acts a 'cultural ambassador' for Israel. Batsheva is also supported by international 'friends of Batsheva' many of whom are ardent supporters of Israel. The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel identifies Batsheva as a boycott target, so the Edinburgh International Festival is breaking the call of Palestinian civil society for solidarity action while helping to gloss over Israeli apartheid."What a gossamer-thin indictment. What a gossamer-thin indication of prejudice.
Truly, Israel has become the Jew among the nations
Meanwhile, as the Israeli Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh reports, Gaza's Christians face forced conversions and persecution, while Christians in the West appear impervious to their plight:
'"We only hear voices telling us to stay where we are and to stop making too much noise," said a Christian man living in Gaza City. "If they continue to turn a blind eye to our tragedy, in a few months there will be no Christians left in Palestine. Today it's happening in the Gaza Strip, tomorrow it will take place in Bethlehem."
The public protest by the Christians in the Gaza Strip is a first step in the right direction. This is a move that could finally draw the attention of the international community, including Church leaders across the US, to the real problems and dangers facing Palestinian Christians.
Radical Islam, and not checkpoints or a security fence, remains the main threat to defenseless Christians not only in the Palestinians territories, but in the entire Middle East as well.'I hope my Methodist minister friends, who like Stephen Sizer have been busy linking to such reports as this one by Ben White, take note.