Left-wing activists gathered outside the Center for Performing Arts in Tel Aviv Monday evening calling for a boycott on Israel while a group of right-wing activists waved flags across from them.

Shortly before the premier of the opera "Porgy and Bess," at the Center for the Performing Arts in Tel Aviv, which was set to be performed by actors from the Capetown Opera House in South Africa, left-wing activists waved signs and shouted: "Palestine, life there is not easy," and "Fascism is at the door."

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Boycotting the boycott

The activists, creating their own version of a song featured in opera, chanted: "Today you came to hear a story from long ago, a quite painful story, that touches the heart, oh, that reminds me of here. Stop the apartheid, enough, it's time."

Across from the left-wing activists, a right-wing group waved Israeli flags and held signs reading "We are all Israel, we are all Ariel" in reference to recent calls by Israeli artists to boycott a new cultural center in the West Bank settlement of Ariel. The right-wing activists also chanted: "Ariel residents serve in the Army and protect you so that you could go see plays, shame on you."

Performances in Israel by singers from the Cape Town Opera House drew harsh condemnation in South Africa itself.

Cape Town's opera troupe rejected previous calls from retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu to cancel performances in Israel.

Tutu, who earned a Nobel Prize for his peaceful opposition to apartheid, urged the opera troupe not to tour Israel until what he called, "discrimination," ends there.

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