Anti-Israel protest disrupts UK concert series

September 2, 2011 - 6:05 AM

LONDON (AP) — Protesters disrupted a performance by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in one of Britain's most venerable concert series and forced the BBC to pull the concert off the air, the broadcaster said Thursday.

Pro-Palestinian group The Palestine Solidarity Campaign had called for the BBC to cancel the concert and urged people to boycott the event in protest.

The orchestra was due to perform at London's Royal Albert Hall on Thursday as part of BBC Proms, an annual summer concert series dating back to 1941 broadcast live on the radio.

Shouting and booing erupted just as conductor Zubin Mehta was about to lead the orchestra in Bruch's violin concerto.

"We regret that as a result of sustained audience disruption within the concert hall which affected the ability to hear the music, tonight's Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Prom was taken off air," the BBC said in a statement.

It said protesters interrupted the concert four times and that 30 people were removed by secruity throughout the event.

The BBC said that extra security — including bag searches — had been put in place in anticipation of protests.