Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Israeli actors boycott settlement theaters in the West Bank

by shergald Sun Aug 29th, 2010 at 10:16:37 AM EST


Assaf, an Israeli-American, writing at Daily Kos provided an interesting account of the intent of some Israeli actors to boycott newly built theaters located in West Bank settlements (see the BIG UPDATE),

The downside is evident in the title, Major Israeli Theaters Embrace The Settlements (+BIG UPDATE!), as it represents Israel's colonialism as a fait accompli.

Some cultural news from Israel:

Several of Israel's leading theater companies have agreed to perform in the new cultural center in the settlement of Ariel, due to open on November 8. The companies include the Habima National Theater, the Cameri Theater, the Be'er Sheva Theater and Jerusalem's Khan Theater.

Ariel lies 20km inside the West Bank, deeper than any other sizable settlement. The divided highway leading to it - the best road in the West Bank - is open to Israelis only, and lacks any signs naming the numerous Palestinian towns and villages flanking the road. According to Peace Now's 2006 settlement land report, 35% of Ariel's area was confiscated from private Palestinian owners by military fiat. The rest is public land. No patch of Ariel's lands was rightfully purchased. Occupied Palestinians are allowed into Ariel only with special permits.

Richard Silverstein's coverage included the photo above of the cast of Cameri's production of Caucasian Chalk Circle invited to perform in the settlement of Ariel, but refused.

Israeli Actors Refuse to Perform in Settlements

After Israel's leading theater companies announced they would appear for the first time in an Israeli settlement, 40 Israeli actors, directors and producers signed a statement refusing to perform.  They were to grace the boards of a new center for the arts, performing some of the treasures of the world canon (among them Brecht's Caucasian Chalk Circle) for the good burghers of Ariel, known to its boosters as the "capital of Samaria."

The artists' statement said:

"We express contempt regarding the intent of the managements of theater companies to appear at Ariel's new hall.  We will refuse to appear in Ariel and in any other settlement.  We call upon the management to restrict their theatrical activity to the sovereign borders of the State of Israel."

So in the midst of the present right wing Likud government's project to annex most of the West Bank, there are still detractors inside of Israel, left wing refusniks, who are willing to boycott Israel in the name of Palestinian rights.

Good to hear at least one piece of good news about awareness in the Israeli population, since all we hear about is the arrogant and negative public attitudes.


Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Sun Aug 29th, 2010 at 05:33:05 PM EST
As Assaf mentioned, artists in Israel, including those in the acting profession, tend to be left of center. We need to hear more about them. Still, there are those in the arts who will apparently go ahead with performances "in the country," that is to say, artists who believe that all of original Palestine belongs to Israel.

by shergald on Sun Aug 29th, 2010 at 05:41:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Writers Oz, Yehoshua, Grossman back artists' boycott of Ariel settlement
Philip Weiss
August 30, 2010

Where are the liberal American Zionists on this one? What will J Street do? Important news:

Ynet learned on Monday that prominent Israeli authors A. B. Yehoshua, Amos Oz, David Grossman and Sami Michael are supporting a long line of actors, playwrights and artists who announced they would refuse to perform in the new culture auditorium in Ariel, which is located outside the Green Line.

"The show does not have to go on," read a letter drafted by the authors. "We, the signatories, express our support for the people of the theater who refuse to perform in Ariel. The Israeli occupation has recently entered its 43rd year. Legitimizing the settlement enterprise and coming to terms with it severely harm Israel's chances of reaching a peace agreement with its Palestinian neighbors."

http://mondoweiss.net/2010/08/writers-oz-yehoshua-grossman-back-artists-boycott-of-ariel-settlement. html

by shergald on Tue Aug 31st, 2010 at 08:13:11 AM EST

Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]