Israeli singer lifts protester on S. Africa stage, hands off to security

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (JTA) — Israeli singer Yaniv D’Or picked up a protester who came on stage at an Israel Independence Day concert in Johannesburg and handed her to security.

The protester was one of two who came on stage Tuesday while D’Or was singing at a concert titled “The Miracle of Israel: A Symphonic Celebration.” D’Or gave the protester to members of the Community Security Organization who had climbed the steps of the stage and waited in the wings.

“They mustn’t mess with us,” one Israeli was heard to remark. “In Israel we have reason to be nervous, but here they are scared of us.”

Earlier, two protesters who were shouting and behaving raucously were ejected.

The concert, featuring the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra led by Israeli maestro David Sebba, had started hours late because a pro-Palestinian demonstration snarled traffic. Palestinian sympathizers lined the streets outside Gold Reef City holding placards proclaiming “Apartheid: South Africa’s history, Palestine’s current reality” and other anti-Israel slogans.

Some 16 pro-Palestinian organizations backed the protest, including the Congress of South Africa Trade Unions and the South Africa Communist Party, which belong to the ruling tripartite alliance in South Africa with the African National Congress.

It was the second time in a month that pro-Palestinian groups had tried to disrupt an event with Israeli participants.

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