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Famed Amsterdam Concert Hall Called ‘Cowards’ for Canceling Israeli String Quartet Performances Due to Anti-Israel Protests

The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Picture taken August 16, 2019. Photo: REUTERS/Eva Plevier

A world-famous concert hall in Amsterdam announced this week the cancellation of two upcoming concerts by the Israeli music group Jerusalem Quartet because of concerns regarding anti-Israel protests scheduled to take place at the venue and around the city.

The Concertgebouw said on Tuesday the decision was made “due to announced demonstrations, and the recent developments surrounding protests in Amsterdam.” The music hall said it could not guarantee the safety of employees, visitors, and musicians and thus decided to cancel the group’s performances of music by Felix Mendelssohn, Claude Debussy, and Israeli composer Paul Ben-Haim on Thursday and Saturday. The string quartet is comprised of three violinists and a cellist.

The decision was met with backlash from pro-Israel supporters and the Jerusalem Quartet itself, which said on Tuesday the Concertgebouw is surrendering to “bullying and terrorism” by canceling the shows. Others called the move “horrible,” “disgusting,” “shameful,” and “a disgrace.” Some social media users called Concergebouw “a bunch of cowards” and “antisemitic idiots.”

“Your actions have given new meaning to the word ‘cancel culture.’ You capitulate,” the Central Jewish Consultation (CJO) wrote in a letter to the venue. “Yes, the Jerusalem Quartet consists of four musicians from Israel. This in no way justifies opposing their concert. Your choice for this quartet was based on musical considerations. Stick to it and don’t let anything stop you from doing what your goal is.”

In response to the intense scrutiny, Concertgebouw’s General Manager Simon Reinink released a statement on Wednesday further explaining concerns regarding the security and safety of those at the music venue. He said Concertgebouw received “a flood of messages from people and organizations opposing the quartet.” Two anti-Israel demonstrations were scheduled to take place, and social media users urged the public to demonstrate at the Concertgebouw as well.

“What finally made us decide not to go ahead with these concerts after all has everything to do with the security situation in The Concertgebouw,” it explained. “The Concertgebouw itself is responsible for that. With two simultaneous concerts in the Main Hall and Recital Hall, there are 2,500 people in the building. With that, the security situation can quickly become precarious.”

“Until recently, the demonstrations were peaceful and no reason for us not to allow the concerts to go ahead,” the music hall added. “However, recent developments in and around the University of Amsterdam made that, after extremely intense discussions, we came to the decision not to allow the concerts to go ahead. We could not guarantee the safety within our building of staff, visitors, and musicians. We are very sorry for all visitors and not least for the musicians of the Jerusalem Quartet.”

Concertgebouw said it has been in contact with the Jerusalem Quarter about finding a later date for the shows “where safety can be guaranteed.”

In February, anti-Israel activists interrupted a concert by the Jerusalem Quartet taking place in the Theater Diligentia in The Hague. They waved Palestinian flags and shouted over the music, accusing the music group of “promoting genocide” and distracting people from Israel’s alleged “war crimes.” They were removed from the venue by security guards. A performance by the Jerusalem Quarter was also disrupted by protesters in January in the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ in Amsterdam and the same happened in 2010 during a BBC live broadcast in London.

The post Famed Amsterdam Concert Hall Called ‘Cowards’ for Canceling Israeli String Quartet Performances Due to Anti-Israel Protests first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse

Samantha Kline, 22, presented photos of antisemitic graffiti she says targeted her.

The post OCAD University student is seeking $1M in damages—alleging a lack of protection from threats and abuse appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage

Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov as seen in a propaganda video released by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Photo: Screenshot

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group on Tuesday released a short propaganda video featuring Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov, 28, who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

The 30-second undated video shows Trufanov, an Amazon employee, identifying himself and saying that he will soon discuss what has happened to him and other hostages in Gaza.

Similar videos have been released by terrorists groups in Gaza. Israel has lambasted them as psychological warfare.

Trufanov’s mother said in a video released by the family that she was happy to see her son after all this time, but “it was heartbreaking” that he had been a hostage for so long.

Trufanov was an engineer at the Israeli microelectronics company Annapurna Labs, which Amazon owns.

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists abducted over 250 people during their Oct. 7 onslaught. Trufanov was kidnapped alongside his mother, grandmother, and girlfriend.

All three were released as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement negotiated in November. His father, Vitaly Trufanov, was one of the 1,200 people killed during the Hamas massacre.

“The proof of life from Alexsander (Sasha) Trufanov is additional evidence that the Israeli government must give a significant mandate to the negotiating team,” the Hostages Families Forum, which represents the families of the hostages, said in a statement.

More than 120 hostages remain in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. Islamic Jihad is a separate but allied terrorist organization in the Palestinian enclave. Both are backed by Iran, which provides them with money, weapons, and training.

Negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been stalled for weeks.

The post Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023

Gal Gadot as Rachel Stone in a scene from the trailer for “Heart of Stone.” Photo: YouTube screenshot

Netflix released its engagement report that details the films with the most views from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2023, and Israeli actress Gal Gadot’s action thriller Heart of Stone secured the number two spot with 109.6 million views.

The film — starring Gadot alongside Jamie Dornan and Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt in leading roles — was the runner-up to Leave the World Behind, the drama starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, and Ethan Hawke that garnered 121 million views on Netflix.

Heart of Stone, directed by Tom Harper, was released on the streaming giant on Aug. 11 of last year. The action film is about international intelligence operative Rachel Stone, played by Gadot, who goes on a mission to protect an artificial intelligence system, known as The Heart, from falling in the wrong hands. The film was produced by Pilot Wave, a company founded by Gadot and her husband Jaron Varsano.

Gadot also stars in Netflix’s most popular film of all time, Red Notice, alongside Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds.

The post Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023 first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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