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Quartet catch-up

More news on the disruption of the Israeli Jerusalem Quartet’s concert at the 2008 Edinburgh Festival (see PN 2502).

Campaigners from Scottish Palestine Solidarity (SPS) stopped the string quartet from playing several times during a concert in August 2008. They were protesting against Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and in support of a cultural boycott of Israel. Four were arrested and charged with “breach of the peace”. This charge was dropped, in favour of the more serious one of “racially-motivated conduct”, at a hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on 2 March.

Mick Napier, chair of the SPS Campaign, later said: “We regard the dropping of the original charges as a victory for the campaign, but we actually welcome the decision of the Crown to proceed with more serious charges. We will be grateful for the forum to explain that our opposition to the violent, racist state of Israel is motivated by our commitment to human rights for all. We hope very much that these charges will not be quietly dropped and that we will have the opportunity to meet our critics in court.”