"As an arts lover, I am an instinctive supporter of the right to freedom of expression.
However, I do not uphold that right above all other rights. For instance, I would not, in the 1980s, have agreed to review the work of South African companies funded by the apartheid state. In my opinion, the rights of the oppressed black South African majority would have superseded the supposed "rights" of arts companies to attempt to promote and normalise apartheid South Africa.
The issue with Israeli dance company Batsheva is, in its essence, identical. The call for a boycott of Israel is not simply a protest over policy (as one might protest against the US/British invasion of Iraq, or Russia's wars against Chechnya). Rather, it is a challenge to the fundamental basis of an ethnically-defined state which is built upon ethnic cleansing and the wholesale dispossession, and continuous oppression, of the Palestinian Arab population."