ROME (Jan. 7)
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators delayed the start of a concert by the Israeli Chamber Orchestra last Friday at the Municipal Theater in Piacenza, about 40 miles southeast of Milan.
Five young women dressed in black mounted the stage just before the performance was to start and unfurled a banner reading, “Enough with the occupation of the Palestinian territories.”
Leaflets with the same slogan simultaneously rained down from the balconies, the daily II Messaggero reported.
A small group of demonstrators chanted slogans outside the theater.
The women were dressed in black apparently to identify with the peace-oriented Women in Black organization of Israeli and other women who regularly protest the Israeli presence in the territories.
Four of Friday’s demonstrators were held in custody. The fifth was found to be under age and was released.
The concert commenced after the conductor announced he brought a message of peace from Israel and dedicated the performance to peace.
Several pro-Palestinian groups had tried unsuccessfully to pressure the local authorities of the northern Italian city to cancel the concert when it was first announced, and urged the public to boycott it.