Outside pressure forced employees of a London theater to cancel a pro-Israel event hosted by British journalist Douglas Murray on Sunday night.
Staff at the Apollo Theater backed out of working the public event after receiving threats via email, Alan Aziz, the CEO of Technion UK, the nonprofit that organized the fundraiser, told Jewish News. Murray and British actress Louisa Clein planned to hold the discussion to raise money for Israeli soldiers.
“My event in central London tonight has been moved after the theatre that was meant to be hosting it cowered to a campaign of intimidation,” Murray posted on X. “We have arrived at the point where theatres in London no longer feel safe to support free speech – or at least not when the subject is about Jews or Israel.”
“When even the threat of a threat is enough to cause such fear amongst staff members that they refuse to show up to work, we all have a very big problem,” he added. “Meantime the event will still be going ahead. I have no intention of buckling to extremists, even if the theatre in question has.”
The event was eventually moved to a new location after employees backed out after Aziz said staff could choose not to work at events on Sundays when the theater is normally closed, Jewish News reported. More than 800 tickets had sold for the Apollo event, but almost 1,000 people showed up to the relocated event at an undisclosed location.
“Wonderful event to a capacity audience in London. Shame on the Apollo Theatre for bowing to the mob,” Murray later posted to X. “But London’s Jews will not be intimidated and neither will I.”
An unidentified theater employee shared the email addresses of the Apollo employees with someone outside the theater who opposed Israel and sent the employees “threatening emails” before they “told the management that they no longer wanted to work,” Aziz said.
“The Apollo told us that they had struggled to put together enough staff to work at the evening, but that eventually they did have a working crew,” Aziz told Jewish News.
The Apollo Theater backed out of their plans to host the event by early Sunday afternoon because it must use approved staff who are trained in evacuation and fire-security procedures or face their insurance could be invalidated.
“The Apollo were very understanding and apologized,” Aziz said. “They did everything possible to try to make it work.”
Palestinian supporters protested outside the Apollo, even after the event had been canceled, shouting: “Douglas Murray is using his platform to fundraise for the IDF who are nothing but baby killers!”
“Well done for wasting your evening screaming outside the wrong theatre you cowards. I’m sure the people of my country loved you screaming at them,” Murray said in response.