Activists protest against Jerusalem Quartet

Issue 

Despite ferociously hot weather, 50 people attended a November 13 protest against the Jerusalem Quartet. The Israeli chamber music group was performing at Adelaide Town Hall.

The protest was part of the campaign by Australian Friends of Palestine (AFOPA) to boycott Israeli products, as it joins in the growing international cultural boycott of Israel.

Protesters held placards, and were equipped with leaflets and small Palestinian flags to hand out to the arriving audience and passers by.

AFOPA supporters were joined by members of Adelaide University-based group Action for Palestine and Socialist Alliance members.

Although some concert-goers expressed their distaste and disapproval for the protest, many people took the group's leaflets with interest. Some took the time to ask questions or engage in discussion with the protesters.

One of the best outcomes of the protest came when one woman took a leaflet, read it through, then came back to the protester who gave it to her and handed over her three $45 tickets.

She explained that she had no idea that the Jerusalem Quartet was a cultural representative of a country that perpetrates such appalling crimes on the Palestinian people, and now in all conscience she could not attend the concert. She also said she would contact her friends at interval and encourage them to leave.

The protest got its message across and showed that even in far-flung, quiet Adelaide, there is a strong and growing voice in support of the rights of the Palestinians.

It also demonstrated that the worldwide boycott, divest and sanctions campaign against Israel is taking hold everywhere. It will continue until Israel abandons its aggression and allows the Palestinians the right to live in their homeland.

[Jeanie Lucas is a member of AFOPA Adelaide.]