Reaction to disruption of participation in the Manofim Contemporary Art festival

Published with permission of Mrs. Sudilovsky:

Tonight my husband and I had been looking forward to taking our sons to the final event of the Manofim Art festival at the Binyan Clal building in downtown where you were to be one of the choirs performing in the new space my husband helped design.

We don’t get out much to cultural events so this was to be a special evening, maybe even a late night snack at he shuk after the concert.

But then the fascist racist people of Lehava showed up with their protests and hatred, with their claims of a Jewish Jerusalem and prevented the event from taking place in its entirety.
All that was missing were the brown shirts and this could have been a different time and a different place.

Several choirs, including yours left in order to avoid any confrontation and we, who had come to hear your beautiful music were denied that honor. I am crying tears of anguish at what this city is becoming.

I apologize. I apologize for how these fascists behaved tonight. I apologize not because they represent me, because they and their racist, fascist, extremist hatred do not belong to my world at all. But I apologize for the fact that the Jerusalem Police and the Israeli government have been unable or unwilling to deal swiftly and justly with this vigilante group which has been terrorizing downtown Jerusalem and other places with their fanatical racial hatred, much as the Nazis did in Germany in the 1930’s. I apologize out of frustration and a feeling of helplessness as I see this city and country falling in a downward spiral into the mire of fascism, yes, fascism and extremism, and no one is doing anything to bring about an immediate end to it.

When I confronted the Lehava thugs after the concert was forced to end early, I was told to “go to Tel Aviv,” that Jerusalem belongs to them. Sadly it seems that the police and the politicians appear to think so too, letting them run amok like the thugs and criminals that they are. The fear they create serves the purpose of the lowest kind of politician.

So once again they arrested Bentzi Gopstein, so what. Tomorrow or the next day he will be out again continuing with his path of racial incitement.

I just wanted to let you know that there were many people outside, after you and some of the other choirs left, who verbally confronted those hate filled people who seem to have forgotten Jewish history. We want to hear your music, we want to share in the life in this city, we want a multi-cultural multi-racial multi-ethnic city where music is enjoyed for its beauty, where an evening out with your family does not have to end in a cesspool of gang hatred and thug tactics.

I am very sorry I was not able to hear your choir sing. I had been looking forward to it for some time. I would be honored to be able to hear your unique music and share in your musical heritage some day soon, here in Jerusalem.
Judith Sudilovsky