Skip To Content
Breaking News

Israeli Dance Troupe Scraps Scotland Tour Over Protest Fears

A student dance company from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has cancelled its participation in a festival in Scotland over security concerns.

The students were scheduled to dance during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Aug. 9 to Aug. 12.

The university made the decision to pull its dance company over concerns about plans by anti-Israel protesters, it said in a statement.

“The personal safety of the members of the dance company is the most important factor and we will certainly not compromise on that in any way. We received warnings that their participation could endanger the dancers, therefore, in consultation with the relevant parties, we made the hard decision not to send the company to the planned performances in Edinburgh,” BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi said in a statement Sunday. “It is a shame that this is the state of affairs – where artistic freedom of expression is being sorely tested. The company has no connection to politics, but everything has become highly politicized.”

The cancellation comes after the Israeli play “This City” by the Incubator Theater, which is funded by the Israeli government, was targeted in Edinburgh last week by protesters. The venue canceled further performances following the protests, which disrupted other nearby venues.

The group currently is performing on the street while searching for a new venue.

“But we are trying to be in a good mood, we are trying to find a new venue and in the meantime we’ll sing in the streets … sing for peace,” company artistic director Arik Eshet told the British newspaper the Guardian.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.