Israeli dance company Batsheva performs Decadance.

Sydney Festival boycott over Israel funding makes for strange bedfellows

If I was a young gay man, I would be disturbed to know that the Islamists who control Hamas in Gaza regard me as a “bestie”. But this is the fate that has befallen Australian comedian Tom Ballard, who identifies with the LGBTQI+ movement in Australia.

On January 4, Nine journalist Garry Maddox reported that Ballard had joined the boycott of the Sydney Festival over funding it received from the Israeli embassy in Australia. The Israeli government provided a relatively small amount of money, $20,000, as sponsorship of the Sydney Dance Company’s performance of Decadance, which is choreographed by Israeli Ohad Naharin, at the Sydney Opera House.

Now Sydney is a long way from Gaza City and Naharin is a critic of the Israeli government. But none of this mattered to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement. It wishes to impose sanctions on all of Israel – including that part of Israel created with the endorsement of the UN in 1948 along with the occupied territories taken, and so far not returned, by Israel following its victory in the defensive conflict of 1967 commonly known as the Six-Day War.

The ultimate aim of the BDS is to drive Jews from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. That is, to remove Israel from the map.

Late last year, some BDS supporters in Australia decided to make a stand against the Sydney Festival’s decision to accept finance from the Israeli embassy in support of the Decadance performance.

Read the article in The Australian.