Cultural blockade

Brian Pilchik’s call (Letters, 4 August) to ban Israelis from performing at the Edinburgh Fringe is a poor attempt at sarcasm. To portray a principled and peaceful protest outside a venue where a group sponsored by the Israeli government were performing as being racist is silly.

Mr Pilchik knows that it was the involvement/sponsorship 
by the Israeli government that was the cause of the protest and not the nationality of the performers.

In the same letters section, 
Dr Roger I Cartwright initially refrains from Mr Pilchik’s hyperbole about a “mob of angry radicals”, criticising in moderate tones our Makar Liz Lochhead’s support for a cultural boycott of Israeli state-sponsored groups.

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But then he too resorts to exaggeration by warning that her reasonable and principled stance “is the road to book burning and then worse” and asks does our national poet “really want to encourage the baying mob?”

The scenes coming out of Gaza, and the actions of the Israeli government have for many years now been an affront to any fair-minded person.

We should all be calling for a boycott, not only of cultural ties with Israeli government-sponsored groups, but with Israel, full stop.

Tom Minogue

Victoria Terrace