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‘Extreme intolerance’: Deborah Conway on concert abuse

The singer's audience and pro-Palestinian protestors clashed throughout the show, with one woman using a shattered wine glass to threaten another woman.
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Deborah Conway & Willy Zygier

Singer Deborah Conway has been outspoken in her support of Israel in the current conflict.

Published: 29 May 2024

Last updated: 29 May 2024

Singer Deborah Conway and her musician husband Willy Zygier have decried the actions of protesters at a Hobart concert as “extreme intolerance”, after interruptions and threats at their show on Saturday night.

In the most extreme incident, a woman broke a wine glass and threatened another woman with its shattered stem during the fracas.

The altercation came as pro-Palestinian protesters interrupted a concert by the wife-and-husband performers. Other audience members responded with abuse and heckling.

One protester unfurled a Palestinian flag and shouted that Conway had “openly supported the murder” of Palestinian children.

Conway and Zygier thanked members of the audience who spoke out against the protesters and police and security who provided protection.

"It was a dreadful display of extreme intolerance; we were all confronted with a micro example of civilisational breakdown but the forces for civil discourse triumphed in the end. We completed our show."

The pair describes the attack on Conway as "genocidal" as a classic blood libel, which took comments she had made about the conflict completely out of context.

"Calling Deborah genocidal, responsible for deaths etc & other ridiculous lies does your cause no good. None of it is true but somehow your movement have convinced themselves, and others, that ruining our careers will 'Free Palestine’. It’s the stuff of crazed ideologues.

"We understand people are inflamed and passionate and powerless but excoriating the other, bringing violence is counterproductive…Hobart is as far from the Middle East as you can get.”

The Tasmanian Palestinian Advocacy Network published a video of the disruption, and described the protesters as an “autonomous group of absolute legends”.

It said three protesters had been removed by security staff from the venue but claimed that the woman who wielded the glass shard was not removed.

“We demand to know why this woman was not immediately reported to the police, and why it was the protester, rather than the person wielding a literal weapon, who was violently dragged out of the theatre by security,” the group said in a post on social media.


Deborah Conway condemns ‘extreme intolerance’ at Hobart concert (SMH, paywall)


Charity Commission drops inquiry into Campaign Against Antisemitism (Guardian)
Regulator drops investigation four years after claims of political partisanship were raised.


  • Avatar of Jo Thomson

    Jo Thomson30 May at 10:32 pm

    There is no justification for abuse or violence, but before defending Deborah Conway, it is worth listening to what she said on RN on December 13. This artist claimed all was peaceful before October 7, strongly supported the response by Israel and the IDF and blamed the deaths in Palestine (which she claimed were exaggerated and denied was disproportionate) purely on HAMAS.
    This denial of reality deserves protest – not violence.

  • Avatar of Joe somers

    Joe somers30 May at 08:03 am

    While antisemitism should be condemned, it should be noted that a lot of people are not protesting about the Jews per se but The bombardment of innocent women and children by the Israeli forces it seems to most people. The only solution to the conflict is two states one for Israel and one for Palestine until that is established. There won’t be peace ever.

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