Jeremy Leibler said: “We commend the Board of the Sydney Festival and Mr Kirk for refusing to submit to the intimidation and aggression of the BDS movement. It is unclear from Mr Kirk’s subsequent comments if he is expressing regret that so many artists have been the subject of attacks on social media and elsewhere as a result of the tactics of the BDS movement or expressing regret for the Sydney Festival’s decision to ask the Israeli embassy for sponsorship.
“However, what is clear is that many of the artists who have withdrawn from the Sydney Festival have done so as a result of the extreme and intimidating conduct of the BDS movement. To suggest that it was Israeli sponsorship rather than the behaviour of the BDS movement that is responsible for this abuse would be morally bankrupt and an exercise in ‘victim blaming’.
“The only party in this unfortunate story that owes an apology to the many artists who chose to resist the pressure and remain in the festival is the BDS movement itself.”