On Saturday, February 4, New Yorkers will protest Batsheva Dance Company’s evening performance at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) due to their role as a cultural ambassador for the Israeli government. The protest will call for a boycott of Israeli cultural institutions like Batsheva that are complicit in Israel’s human rights violations.
Human rights advocates will celebrate Palestinian cultural resistance with a street performance of Palestinian folk dance by the Freedom Dabka Group. Other dancers will explore the themes of the Last Work, the piece Batsheva will be performing that evening. The Rude Mechanical Orchestra will provide musical accompaniment to songs and chants.
Batsheva is part of “Brand Israel,” an Israeli government initiative to use art and culture to show “Israel’s prettier face,” and divert attention from Israeli repression. Batsheva Dance Company has consistently been identified by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs as one of Israel’s greatest cultural ambassadors. Their 2017 North American tour is supported by the Office of Cultural Affairs at Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and sponsored by Israeli Consulate Generals in Toronto and Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest, and the Israeli Embassy in Canada. Batsheva’s 2014 US tour was also supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Continue