Press Release 7 November 2003

Scottish Friends of Palestine welcomes and endorses the statement recently received from the Israeli dance company, Inbal Pinto, dissociating the company and its members from the occupation of the Palestinian territories.

The appearance of the Dance Company at the Theatre Royal this coming Tuesday 11th November, provokes a degree of debate within the ranks of those who strongly oppose the military occupation of Palestinian land and the brutal subugation of the people. On the one hand, Israeli artists who oppose the occupation are welcome. On the other, the appearance of Inbal Pinto serves to give the impression that all is well in the State of Israel, that it is normal for a state to cruelly suppress the rights of the occupied, and be brutalised in the process, while trying to promote itself as a cultured society. This is a contradiction which supporters of the national and human rights of the Palestinian people cannot ignore.

Tuesday 11th November, Theatre Royal, Hope Street, Glasgow 6.15pm

Demonstration against the Israeli military occupation.

This is not a demonstration against the members of Inbal Pinto. It is hoped that the members of Inbal Pinto will understand the nature and purpose of the demonstration and, most important, convey to their fellow citizens that as long as their state boycotts the rights of an occupied people, then the state can similarly expect to be boycotted.

Statement from Inbal Pinto:

To Whom it may concern

We are absolutely against the Israeli’s government policy and actions against the Palestinian people. It is unforgivable.

In 2002 Inbal Pinto Dance Company was invited to perform at the Arts & Ideas International Festival in New Haven, U.S.A. Al Kasaba Theater, a theater company from Ramallah Palestine was invited to the same Festival. The Palestinian company had terrible difficulties with their visas and more than that, some of the sponsors of the festival said that they would withdraw their support if the Palestinian group participated in it. We wrote a letter to the sponsors totally rejecting the decision not to allow the Palestinian company to perform in the Festival. We said that we would not perform unless the matter was solved. The Palestinian company received the visas and performed successfully at the Festival.

The people that are protesting against our performances should do what they feel is best in making their point about the Palestinian Israeli conflict. If we knew that by making an embargo on Israeli art around the world we would help the Palestinians and force the Israeli government to act differently, we would stop performing immediately.

Our country is a place full of blood and hate. We wish to change it and as artists, the one way we can do this is through our work.

Inbal Pinto Dance Company’s activities and creations have no relation to the Israeli government. Yes, we are receiving a little support from the government and we hope that we will get much more, so that the government will have less money for weapons and cement for walls…

Avshalom Pollak & Inbal Pinto
Artistic Managers
Inbal Pinto Dance Company

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