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Friday, July 19, 2013

El Al cancels Roger Waters promotion

El Al Israel Airlines has canceled its promotion of a concert by Roger Waters in Budapest that was on its web site after learning that Waters is a prominent BDS'er.
“This matter was brought to my attention yesterday afternoon,” Sheryl Stein, an advertising/public relations/social media manager for El Al, wrote in an email to JNS.org on Thursday. “Our Head Office received my email this morning and I am pleased to say this issue was resolved in a timely manner. On a regular basis, EL AL offers passengers packages to cultural events around the world. As soon as this sensitive issue was brought to our attention, the package was canceled.”
Waters accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” “apartheid” and “international crimes” in a November 2012 address at the United Nations, and last fall was also at the forefront of efforts to boycott an Israel Philharmonic Orchestra performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall.
Does El Al live in cave?  Roger Waters' BDS activities have been in every media source in Israel. How could they have scheduled him in the first place?
Richard Allen, head of JCC Watch, an organization that is calling for the establishment of new guidelines to prevent Jewish funding of activity that gives BDS a platform, said he was “very pleased” by El Al’s quick removal of the Waters package. JCC Watch is organizing monthly protests until it sees new Jewish community guidelines on BDS, in response to the recent scheduling of events with Waters and “The Color Purple” author Alice Walker, another high-profile BDS activist. The Waters event that was scheduled for this spring was ultimately canceled, but Walker appeared at the Y—which receives $900,000 in funding per year from the UJA-Federation of New York—in late May.
Unfortunately, outside of Israel, there's a lot of indifference and misunderstanding about what BDS is and that it's as anti-Israel as they come. But at least in Israel we should understand the issue. 

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