Let’s say you have disagreements with a foreign government. How do you make your feelings clear? By writing to your MP? Engaging in peaceful and legitimate protest? Or do you decide to do what some people did earlier this week and… target a string quartet?
At lunchtime on Tuesday, the Jerusalem Quartet were doing a recital at the beautiful Wigmore Hall in London. It was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. The Jerusalem Quartet – who come from Israel and who have done national service like everyone else there – were performing string quartets by Mozart and Ravel. Nothing too controversial there, you would have thought. Ravel is pretty established repertoire, and it’s a while since anyone had a problem with Mozart.
But enter the great anti-string quartet alliance (for this was a joint operation by the “Brighton and Hove Palestinian Solidarity Campaign” and a group called “Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods” (J-Big) which has membership running into single digits).
A little way into the Mozart string quartet, a semi-trained, fully barking music teacher called Debbie Fink started braying a witless anti-Israeli song at the top of her voice to disrupt proceedings. The effectiveness of this tactic of hers can be judged from an earlier video available here. Once again, this time at the Wigmore Hall, she was led away. Then, in this carefully planned offensive, another member of the Wigmore Hall forward-operations unit stood up to denounce the quartet … >>>