International music program rejects discrimination against Israelis


(JTA) — After an Egyptian music teacher refused to teach a workshop for Israeli students, the director of an international music program in Greece said the program will not permit such behavior.

"It will always be the policy of the Musical Workshop Labyrinth in any future incident of this nature, that all teachers here will be obliged to accept on equal terms and with absolutely no discrimination of any kind students of all races, religions, nationalities, and genders," Ross Daly, who founded the Labyrinth workshop in Crete in 1982, wrote in a statement posted on the program’s website.

Labyrinth focuses on traditional music of the Mediterranean region. Israelis have been teachers, students and performers in the past.

In the statement, Daly said the program had "never before encountered" a situation of this sort.

He said the program had hired a young Egyptian musician to teach the oud, a stringed instrument. But when the teacher arrived, Daly wrote, "he quickly realized that in his class would be three students from Israel, and he promptly informed us that he did not wish to teach students from this country."

Daly said he apologized to the Israeli students, refunded the money they had paid and offered them free participation in any other part of the program.

"Under no circumstances should education, the free movement and unconditional sharing of ideas, or knowledge in the service of the spiritual elevation of humankind, be in any way hindered by political considerations or sensitivities of any nature," Daly wrote.

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