This report is from the Palestine Solidarity Committee of Seattle, a US Campaign member group, about just one of multiple planned protests in U.S. cities where the Israel Philharmonic is performing.
About thirty protestors demonstrated outside Benaoya Hall last night during the IPO's appearance, holding a banner and signs that read, "Don't Harmonize with Occupation" and "Israel Fiddles while Palestine Burns." The protest was organized by Palestine Solidarity Committee - Seattle, and Voices of Palestine.
In 30-degree F. weather the demonstrators were accompanied by the Anti-Fascist Marching Band, a local street band that played "Caravan," Misirlou," Masters of War," Oseh Shalom/Khaveynu Sholem Aleichem," and other appropriate numbers. Demonstrators handed out a leaflet designed by PSC with one side detailing the ills of the occupation and noting the IPO's role in the "Brand Israel" campaign, and the other side explaining the goals and specifics of the academic and cultural boycott.
While American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra had bragged that the concert had been sold out for five months, it was apparent that there were empty seats available in all sections of the house and that a significant number of the occupied seats had been reserved for Israeli security personnel. Clearly, part of security force's objective was to eliminate our message countering the orchestra's "Brand Israel" "cultural diplomacy," as agents were seen gathering up the "Shameful Occupation" cards as fast as they could. The orchestra's politicized role in whitewashing Israeli Apartheid was apparent from the first moment of the concert, when the orchestra members stood and played both the US and Israeli national anthems.
One blogger mentioned the banner incident and there was a local news report that ignored the protest.