Protesting Israeli government-funded Batsheva Dance Company’s tour of dancing soldiers, February 18th


Nigel Parry, Monday, February 9th, 2009


Showtime starts at 7:30 PM Wednesday February 18, 2009.

Facebook Event Page:


Northrop Auditorium, 84 Church St. SE, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis/Dinkytown

Event page on the Northrop website:

Be there 6:45 PM, 45 minutes before showtime.


The University of Minnesota is bringing the Batsheva Dance Company of Tel Aviv to Minneapolis for one performance. This is a violation of the 2004 Palestinian call to “comprehensively and consistently boycott all Israeli academic and cultural institutions”and the 2005 call of 171 Palestinian civil society organizations for broad boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

This dance company is funded by the Israeli government and is considered a “leading ambassador” of the Israeli government, by the Israeli government.

Several of Batsheva’s members are serving Israeli reservist soldiers. An atypically high number of reservist units in the Israeli army were deployed in the Gaza Strip–where an indisputable slaughter was carried out, with terrible stories published even in mainstream sources.

Bringing Israel government-funded, dancing Israeli soldiers to town after the gratuitous massacre of innocents in Gaza is utterly unacceptable.


Other recent examples of Israel pimping out its female soldiers like fashion models on the images on its army’s website, and also half-naked in Maxim magazine, have underlined that Israel is trying very hard to draw our attention away from what the “Israeli Defense Forces” are doing in their spare time these days with white phosphorus:

Here’s the New York Times blog post about the sex-heavy graphical banners on the IDF’s website:

That one picture of the eyes and colored bullets say it all. Creepy!


And finally–well–some things just have to be seen for themselves. The Maxim feature:


The event at the Northrop is co-presented with the Walker Arts Center who apparently now co-sponsor Israeli government-funded propaganda, and have apparently never heard of a woman in the arts called Leni Riefenstahl, who also cavorted with war criminals.

In the horrific, despair-drenched aftermath of the Christmas invasion of the Gaza Strip, and the relentless and self-defeating, ongoing occupation of Palestinian land, it is time to honor the call for a boycott of Israel made by Palestinian civil society and solidarity groups around the world, including South Africa.

The challenge posed to us today in ending the apartheid policies of the State of Israel is no different than the challenge that people of good faith faced in the 1980s in responding to calls to boycott the white supremacist government in South Africa. We urge you to join us as we nonviolently oppose this performance, as part of building a sustained BDS campaign, and refusing to allow our fellow Twin Cities neighbors and businesses to implicate us in Israel’s attempts to whitewash its very intentionally-created, total human misery. Enough is enough.


Bring banners calling for and end to war, justice for the oppressed, genuine peace, cultural boycott until Israel complies with international law, calls for one state, calls for two state, bring down the wall, sanctions against Israel, boycotting Israeli exports, calls for UN forces on the ground, US to stop sending M… whatever… anything you think will help is welcomed.

An emphasis on artistic banners and posters is a good idea for this event, as the audience is going to be dance buffs.

Recent flyer options

And make/post links to your own below.

Make your own

Go hunting on Google Images for Large photos of what is happening in Gaza. Get a friend with Photoshop to mash them up, add captions/statements, and save as a large as possible JPG.

Visuals are important, so try to spot cheaper printing offers in stores, and have CD ROMs or saved JPGs of protest stuff ready to go. E-mail them to friends.

For example, Wallgreens is currently offering 25% off its already do-able $11.99-20.99 poster-sized enlargements. You can go in with the image saved on a mobile phone and beam it to the Kodak enlargement counter. Or do it via the Internet. These large protest props can be laminated at an office services place and used again at future demonstrations.

20″x30″ = about 3×2 (landscape orientation) or 2×3 (portrait orientation) feet. $22.99

16″x20″ = still pretty respectably-sized. $17.99

12″x18″ = good if you want to stick four images to a larger poster board. $14.99

11″x14″ = ditto, with more images. $11.99

You can even upload stuff online and pay for it over the counter.

The code COLLEGE25 at checkout takes 25% off poster prices quoted above until Feb 14th:

Be creative. Axe-man probably has some stuff that would make good props.


“The latest Palestinian Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) – supported by a large majority of Palestinian civil society – does not target Jews or Israelis qua Jews; on the contrary, it actually addresses conscientious Israeli Jews, urging them to support efforts to bring about Israel”s compliance with international law and fundamental human rights, both necessary elements in reaching true peace based on justice. Many around the world recognize the extent of Israel”s breach of international law. The real challenge now is to do something about it.

Only by applying effective international pressure against Israel similar in scope and comprehensiveness to that successfully used to end apartheid in South Africa will intellectuals and academics be fulfilling their moral obligation to stand up for right, for justice, for equality and for a chance to validate the prevalence of universal ethical principles. By doing so, they will also serve in the most effective manner the cause of coexistence and real peace.”

— Omar Barghouti (a founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel)


1. Call, write, or send an e-letter to Ben Johnson, Director of Concerts and Lectures, asking him to cancel the show and honor the boycott against Israel:

Phone: 612-624-4473
Fax: 612-626-1750

Ben Johnson
Department of Concerts and Lectures
109 Northrop, 84 Church St. SE,
Minneapolis, MN 55455

2. Write letters to the editor of the Minnesota Daily and local media (Star Tribune, City Pages).

3. Ask the Walker Arts Center why the hell they’re sponsoring Israeli government-funded propaganda, and if they’ve ever heard of a woman called Leni Riefenstahl and if they need you to spell her name for them.

4. Don’t buy tickets to the Batsheva performance. If you already have tickets, then exchange them for another show. Tell them why.

5. Please join us in peacefully protesting the Batsheva performance.

The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee”s call to boycott is supported by The Middle East Committee of WAMM, Coalition for Palestinian Rights, Middle East Peace Now, Jewish anti-Zionist Network-Twin Cities (IJAN-TC), the Palestinian Institute of Minnesota, the Anti-War Committee and other people of conscience who are taking a moral stand against Israel”s oppressive policies.

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