The band played on, the audience inside the Royal Albert Hall loved it and screamed “More!”, so then why did the BBC pull last night’s live Radio 3 broadcast of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra at the Proms near to the beginning?
People around the world had tuned in to listen, but instead the BBC quickly switched to a recording of a past IPO performance.
The six or so anti-Israel disruptions (see clips below) didn’t really detract from the evening’s overall enjoyment.
The BBC would’t pull the live transmission of a big football match because 30 hooligans invaded the pitch, but this is the equivalent of what they did last night to the detriment of those who were not lucky enough to be there in person.
The BBC is broadcasting recorded exerpts of the concert next Wednesday at 2.30pm (BST), but the main beauty of an event is that it is live.
Then the BBC’s report of what happened handed a complete propaganda coup to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, an organisation that recently invited Sheikh Raed Salah to speak, a man who has called homosexuality “a crime” that starts “the collapse of every society”.
First, despite the BBC seeming so offended by last night’s disruptions they still found it passable to upload audio of it for their report.
Second, they referred to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign as a “pro-Palestinian group”, but what has the PSC ever done for the Palestinians? They are nothing more than a bunch of anti-Israel activists.
Third, the BBC report speaks of “increased security measures for the concert”, but my bag was given a cursory glance and some of the protesters went in disguise; one woman dressed as a man with grey hair and a beard. They were later seen coming out of a nice South Kensington restaurant as no arrests were made.
The disruptions were totally predictable, judging by past events, and yet when each interruption occurred security took ages to get to the scene of the protest.
And it didn’t need a Sherlock Holmes to tell you that the absence of the hardcore activists at the anti-Israel rally outside the event indicated that they would all be inside the Royal Albert Hall.
It is the same small group of activists that disrupt these events time and time again and cause distress to people watching who have paid good money during hard times.
Meanwhile, young people have been going to prison for stealing a packet of chewing gum or having a lick of some stolen ice-cream during the London riots.
From what I could tell someone who was led away, I believe, is still on a conditional discharge for previous anti-Israel activity. Another conviction could mean imprisonment. And when it came to paying the costs of the court case that person pleaded poverty, yet there they were in a good seat at the Royal Albert Hall and going out for dinner in South Kensington.
The final insult was when someone was taken out by security for holding up an Israeli flag during each disturbance, yet on the last night of the Proms everyone is waving a Union Jack flag.
Mind you it only cost me £5 to get in to stand and it was probably the best value entertainment I have ever had.
And Zubin Mehta and his Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra were heroic.
Clips and photos (use windows explorer if Firefox doesn’t work):