An Israeli orchestra performed in a Dec. 4 festival in Morocco despite pressure from boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activists in the country.
The Times of Israel (TOI) reported on Dec. 17 that the Israeli Andalusian Orchestra-Ashdod opened the international Andalussyat Festival in Casablanca. The orchestra’s general manager, Jacob Ben Simon, said in a statement to TOI that he was thankful for the festival’s efforts to resist pressure from BDS activists to boycott the festival if the orchestra performed.
“People demonstrating for canceling the performance have no interest in music, peace and the added value of the concert and festival,” Ben Simon said.
StandWithUs tweeted, “Music won over hate.”
The orchestra first performed at the Andalussyat Festival in December 2018; the performance was not publicized beforehand in order to protect the Israeli orchestra members from those in Morocco who might want to harm them. The around 100 members of the orchestra performed with other musicians from northern African countries, including Algerians and Libyans.
According to Jewish Virtual Library, Morocco and Israel don’t have official diplomatic relations with each other; however, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita in September 2018 to discuss the possibility of establishing such ties between the two countries.
Throughout 2019, BDS activists have attempted to cancel various artists from performing in Israel, most notably Bon Jovi, Jennifer Lopez and Lionel Richie. None of the aforementioned concerts in Israeli was canceled.
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