An anti-Israel group called “Adalah” picketed a recent performance by the Batsheva Dance Company at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The most interesting aspect of the controversy is that the anti-Israel activists were undeterred by the fact that the dance troupe’s director has himself accused Israel of committing “war crimes.”
Speaking to a Canadian newspaper in 2005, Batsheva artistic director Ohad Naharin expressed anguish that “I continue to do my work, while 20 kilometers from me, people are participating in war crimes.”
Naharin is so extreme that after anti-Israel hecklers disrupted one of his group’s performances in Scotland in 2012, he declared: “If I would think for a moment this [tactic of disruption] can help the Palestinian cause, I would even welcome it — let’s disturb the show, break my house, break my windows if it can help the Palestinian cause.”
But offering up his windows, and even his entire house, was not enough for the “Adalah” demonstrators who picketed Naharin’s dancers in Brooklyn. Because their problem is not Naharin’s house. Their problem is that he’s an Israeli.
No matter how far left he leans, no matter how many concessions he declares he is willing to make, Naharin is Israeli. And therefore they consider him to be their enemy. They don’t distinguish between “good” progressive Israelis and “bad” centrist or right-wing ones…