Statement on DeSean Jackson: The anti-Semitic comments displayed by DeSean Jackson on his instagram are deeply offensive and disturbing. These words have been used for centuries to support the vilification and extermination of Jews. As a representative of our city, we call on DeSean Jackson to stop spreading hate and bigotry and to become better educated about anti-Semitism.

Never in recent memory has the Philadelphia Orchestra embarked on its spring tour with such a seemingly fraught final destination – a week of concerts and ancillary activities in Israel, amid renewed hostilities with Gaza.

The May 24-June 5 tour of Europe and Israel has the usual ports of call, from Luxembourg to Vienna, before a long-planned June 3-5 leg in Israel — infrequently visited by outside orchestras and only once before by the Philadelphians, in 1992.