Anti-Israel protest disrupts UK orchestra concert

Mae4tro Zubin Mehta conducts the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in a practice session in Mumbai in 2009 Getty Images

Mae4tro Zubin Mehta conducts the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in a practice session in Mumbai in 2009
Getty Images

LONDON (CBS/AP) An anti-Israel protest so disrupted a performance by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra that the BBC was forced to pull the concert off the air, the broadcaster said Thursday.

The pro-Palestinian group, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, had called for the BBC to cancel the concert and urged people to boycott the event.

The orchestra was due to perform at London's Royal Albert Hall on Thursday as part of BBC Proms, an annual summer concert series dating back to 1941 broadcast live on the radio.

Shouting and booing erupted just as conductor Zubin Mehta was about to lead the orchestra in Bruch's violin concerto.

"We regret that as a result of sustained audience disruption within the concert hall which affected the ability to hear the music, tonight's Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Prom was taken off air," the BBC said in a statement.

It said protesters interrupted the concert four times and that 30 people were removed by security throughout the event.

The BBC said that extra security including bag searches had been put in place in anticipation of protests.

According to BBC reports, a group of about 20 campaigners waved banners and sang songs outside the concert hall in protest against the appearance of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

In a statement published on its website ahead of the Proms, the pro-Palestinian group claimed the orchestra showed "complicity in whitewashing Israel's persistent violations of international law and human rights."

  • CBS News Staff

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