This is a guest post by TheTallGuy
Sitting in the Sadlers Wells theatre last night, my friend and I thought we would try and spot a protester. We weren’t successful. As has been described before, the atmosphere was tense. Every sound from the audience or from the staff kept everyone looking round the auditorium. The first dance piece passed without incident, presumably because of the loud music. There was some quiet and then came the shout of “Free Palestine”. The crowd booed and clapped, the protester continued shouting as she was taken out by security. The Israelis next to us said they had seen the Batsheva Ensemble twice before and they always shout at that bit.
The show continued on stage, with the protester pantomime from the audience running in parallel. Hollering, house lights up instantly, security swarming, clapping, ejection, audience ruffled, house lights down. This happened I think 3 or 4 times in the first half and maybe once in the second. I’m sure there are more accurate reports out there.
What has stayed with me is the sheer narcissism, the screaming sanctimony of each and every protester. In a crowd overwhelmingly supportive of Batsheva and, rightly, ignoring the ridiculous calls of the BDSers, what on earth do these disruptors hope to achieve? I’m sure not a single persons politics was changed by their display. Their screaming in a theatre echoes the whole BDS movement. It is a hopeless fantasy, whose existence only can be explained psychologically. I can just imagine the cheers from the anti-Israel crowd as a protestor was ejected, they must’ve felt amazing as they were led out. And a peaceful middle east was not brought a jot closer to reality.
See the show. The second half really is fantastic.