As poisonous as a "Portuguese man of war," this (translated) message from Israel-haters in the country known as "England's oldest ally":
Activists protested on Wednesday (16/12) the concert of the Jerusalem Quartet at the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon. They opposed the Quartet's official association with the Israeli army committing war crimes against Palestinians.
In a video released by the Comité de Solidariedade com a Palestina protesters are seen chanting "boycott Israel" as the concert was taking place. At one point the Jerusalem Quartet was forced to interrupt the performance.
The heckling came in two waves and lasted for several minutes catching the audience by surprise. The Jerusalem Quartet seemed undaunted and indeed used to the protests given the frequency in which they take place at venues where they play around the world.
Protesters distributed leaflets explaining the reason for their action and condemned the Gulbenkian Foundation for hosting the Quartet despite appeals. This is the second time the Gulbenkian Foundation, an Armenian cultural institution based in Portugal, hosts the Jerusalem Quartet. Both times activists protested the performance.
This year Armenians from the diaspora, from the US and Palestine, wrote to the Foundation's management requesting the concert to be canceled. Similar appeals were sent by Portuguese citizens. They pointed at the Foundations history of support for Armenians in Palestine, who like other Palestinians live under Israel's occupation and apartheid, echoing evidence linking the Jerusalem Quartet with Israel's propaganda in defense of war and occupation. The appeals went unheeded and the Gulbenkian Foundation refused to address the arguments in the letters.
The direct action by Portugal's Comité de Solidariedade com a Palestina is in support of the Palestinian-led Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which advocates for a cultural boycott of Israeli cultural institutions complicit with Israel's violations of international law....
The Israeli ambassador to the UK said in 2008 when protesters disrupted the Quartet at the Edinburgh Festival “we must not give in to attempts to sabotage the marketing of Israeli art and culture….” Since the quartet has made no attempt to dissociate itself from Israel’s apartheid policies, issuing only half-baked statements, we can only conclude that it is happy to play under the patronage of the State of Israel and/or its institutions while the charges of war crimes against Israel hang thick in the air worldwide.More poison from the northern Mediterranean: