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One of Europe's largest music festivals marred by anti-Semitic acts

Barcelona band kicked out for defacing Israeli flag at Hungary’s Sziget Festival

Members of the Spanish band, Tribade, deface an Israeli flag (Photo: Screenshot)

A European music festival was marred by several anti-Semitic incidents including the defacing lan Israeli flag by a Barcelona band, Tribade.

After its performance at the five-day Sziget Festival, the three-member female band filmed themselves going to the participants’ camping area, locating an Israeli flag by the tents of some Israeli participants and defacing it.

The trio spray-painted “Free Palestine” and “Israel doesn’t exist” on the flag before posting their videos on social media with the caption: “Tribade does not go back on its word.” 

The Sziget Festival – one of the largest music and cultural festivals in Europe, – is held annually in Budapest.

The band was expelled from the event and will not be invited back, said organizers who denounced the band's actions as contrary to the festival’s values.

“The actions of the group Tribade are against our cherished values of welcome and respect, and we deeply condemn this hateful stunt,” the festival said in a statement Monday. “They will, of course, not be invited back to our festivals in the future.” 

Israel’s Foreign Ministry condemned the “ugly” incident in a statement and said it would ask the Sziget Festival for clarification about the incident.

The European Union of Jewish Students stated on social media that it “is disgusted by the defacement of the Israeli flag” and that festival organizers must “condemn artists who use its platform to incite hatred.”

Formed in 2017, described itself and its music in 2019 as a “mix of speech (message) and aesthetics. Culture, resistance and urban music.” The trio said they identify with “feminism that includes all the trans, dissident and gay identities under the ideas of antiracism and anticapitalism.”

According to The Algemeiner Journal, while the band has not commented on the reactions to its defacement of the Israeli flag, the video of the incident reportedly has been deleted from their Instagram account. The band also has made its Instagram and Twitter accounts private, while two band members have deleted their Instagram accounts. 

“Hateful displays like this do nothing to advance peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” said Creative Community for Peace director Ari Ingel to the Journal. “Instead of creating more animosity and division, they should support groups on the ground that are using music and the arts to bring both sides together.”

An Israeli festival attendee, Inbal Mittleman, also reported being singled out for waving an Israeli flag during a performance. Mittleman told Israeli media that when she waved the flag, other audience members “poured alcohol on me and shouted at me to take it down, tried to pull it away.”

Three Israeli performers participated at the Sziget Festival – singer Noga Erez, pop band Lola Marsh and singer-producer Echo – among a number of big current names, such as the Arctic Monkeys, Tame Impala, Dua Lipa, Calvin Harris, Justin Bieber and Kings of Leon. 

The festival took place in Budapest, on the Óbudai-sziget, an island on the Danube, over Aug. 10-15.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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