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American actors support Israeli actors' settlement boycott

by shergald Mon Sep 6th, 2010 at 10:37:54 AM EST

The headline from Mondoweiss (via Haaretz) read,

150 American actors, writers, directors and artists support Israeli actors' West Bank settlement boycott

More than 150 American actors, writers, directors and other artists signed a letter of support for the Israeli actors who declared they would not perform in Ariel, located in the West Bank.

Among them are well known TV actress Cynthia Nixon, playwright Tony Kushner, 21-time Tony winner for productions of "The Pajama Game" to "Phantom of the Opera" Harold Prince, star of the film "Yentl," Mandy Patinkin, and Cameri co-founder Theodore Bikel.

The actual letter with the list of signatories has yet to be published.

Another headline, Israeli academicians join West Bank settlement boycott, also informed that around 150 Israeli academicians, authors and artists have joined the boycott by Israeli actors against performing in West Bank settlements.


Headline: Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's Foreign Minister, Pushes For New Settlement Construction Amid Middle East Peace Talks

JERUSALEM -- Israel's hard-line foreign minister said Monday that his party will try to block any extension of Israel's settlement slowdown, a move that could derail the recently launched Mideast peace negotiations.

Avigdor Lieberman said the Israeli government must keep its promise to voters that the 10-month slowdown, declared last November under U.S. pressure in order to draw the Palestinians to the negotiating table, will end as scheduled at the end of the month.

The Sept. 26 deadline is a challenge for the fragile talks launched in Washington last week. The Palestinians say they will quit the talks if settlement construction accelerates, but not ending the slowdown could potentially bring down the Israeli government. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has yet to say how he will handle the deadline.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/06/israel-settlement-construction-avigdor-lieberman_n_706462.h tml

Well at least they are now admitting that the so-called construction "freeze" was just a "slowdown," but I'm still not certain what the difference is.

by shergald on Mon Sep 6th, 2010 at 10:59:03 AM EST
A more fleshed out UPDATE from Adam Horowitz (Mondoweiss)

Groundbreaking letter - "Israeli theatre artists have refused to allow their work to be used to normalize a cruel occupation . . .We stand with them."

Update on the groundbreaking letter from 150 American actors, writers, directors and artists in support of the Israeli actors' boycott of a theater in the West Bank settlement Ariel. The letter was organized by Jewish Voice for Peace and its signatoris include four Pulitzer Prize winners, Guggenheim Fellowship recipents, a MacArthur Fellowship, a National Medal of Honor, and scores of recipients of the highest U.S. acting honors, including Tony Awards, Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards, Obie Awards, Drama Desk Awards, and the Oscar.

The letter reads:

On August 27th, dozens of Israeli actors, directors, and playwrights made the brave decision not to perform in Ariel, one of the largest of the West Bank settlements, which by all standards of international law are clearly illegal. As American actors, directors, critics and playwrights, we salute our Israeli counterparts for their courageous decision.

Most of us are involved in daily compromises with wrongful acts. When a group of people suddenly have the clarity of mind to see that the next compromise looming up before them is an unbearable one -- and when they somehow find the strength to refuse to cross that line -- we can't help but be overjoyed and inspired and grateful.

It's thrilling to think that these Israeli theatre artists have refused to allow their work to be used to normalize a cruel occupation which they know to be wrong, which violates international law and which is impeding the hope for a just and lasting peace for Israelis an Palestinians alike. They've made a wonderful decision, and they deserve the respect of people everywhere who dream of justice. We stand with them.

JVP's Executive Director Rebecca Vilkommerson says:

The response of American and UK artists to the courageous actions of their Israeli counterparts is just phenomenal. It is especially notable that so many of the signatories are Jewish with long-standing connections to Israel. We hope that the strong show of solidarity by Americans and UK actors in response to these brave Israelis will help spark a new conversation in both countries, one that acknowledges that the Jewish settlements in the occupied territories are illegal by every measure of international law, contribute to the daily violation of human rights of Palestinians, and are a major obstacle to a just peace in the region.

JVP's website notes, that "statement organizers and signatories represent a wide range of political opinions and perspectives, but have come together for the sole purpose of making a joint statement on this one critical issue." The signers are a very diverse bunch including Ed Asner, Theodore Bikel, Eve Ensler, Tony Kushner, Cynthia Nixon, Mandy Patinkin, theater director and producer Harold Prince, Vanessa Redgrave, screenwriter and film producer James Schamus, Wallace Shawn, Jennifer Tilly, playwright Lynn Nottage, the lyricist for Fiddler on the Roof Sheldon Harnick, Bill Irwin, Kathleen Chalfant, and Ruth Reichl among many others. You can read the entire list here.

http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/groundbreaking-letter-israeli-theatre-artists-have-refused-to-allow-th eir-work-to-be-used-to-normalize-a-cruel-occupation-we-stand-with-them.html

W permission.

by shergald on Mon Sep 6th, 2010 at 11:30:11 AM EST
The list of actors and others was published by Jewish Voice for Peace:

http://www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org/campaigns/making-history-support-israeli-artists-who-say-no-norma lizing-settlements-4

Can we look forward to a group of European actors doing the same?

by shergald on Mon Sep 6th, 2010 at 11:36:42 AM EST
They have everything to do with that and nothing to do with peace.

Obama's Ridiculous Mid-East Summit

The tenor of Israeli politics today is one of fanatic rejectionism of any halt to settlements, any serious concession on borders, beyond a Palestinian "state" in small chunks, hemmed in by Israel's highways and fences, with water diverted and communication between the various fragments of Palestinian territory under rigorous Israeli control and constant harassment. East Jerusalem as the proposed capital of a Palestinisan state  is under incessant invasion of new Jewish housing projects. . . .

For his part, Abbas is no longer president of the Palestinian Authority, which has no democratic mandate among the vast majority of Palestinians. They voted for Hamas and  regard Abbas as a quisling, who exists solely by the favor of US money, Pentagon security advisors and Israeli support. Hamas expressed its opinion of the meeting by killing four Israeli settlers. (Half a million illegal Jewish settlers  have been the most conspicuous consequence of the "peace process.") . . .



by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Mon Sep 6th, 2010 at 07:32:05 PM EST
I will read the article further. Re. the portion you posted,

  1. "small chunks, hemmed in by Israel's highways and fences" is just one of so many descriptions of the bantustans that will eventually define Palestine.

  2. " killing four Israeli settlers" is obviously a horrid way to protest Israel's occupation and colonization of the remaining bits of original Palestine. But what is just as disgusting is Obama's remarks on these killings while having ignored completely, even defending Israel, in its killings of over 1,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians, entire families in many cases, and over 300 children during the 2008-9 blitzkrieg of Gaza by the US supplied Israeli military forces.

It is one thing to kiss ass, as Obama is now doing to appease the Israel Lobby, but it quite another to ignore such atrocities for political expediency, and that would also include the more recent Mara Marvari flotilla massacre. At some point it becomes inexcusable.

by shergald on Mon Sep 6th, 2010 at 11:19:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By the way, Cockburn is assuming when he says the killing of the four settlers was a response to the talks. Hamas says the timing was a coincidence and a matter of an opportunity presenting itself.

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Tue Sep 7th, 2010 at 12:53:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not so sure. Hamas has been left out of the so-called peace negotiations, while the siege of Gaza continues pretty much as before. 18% of Palestinians in the West Bank are supporters of Hamas; 25% in Gaza. The West Bank Hamas supporters must certainly have had opportunities in the past to cause such atrocities against Israeli civilians, whatever Hamas now says.

Ignoring Hamas is certainly an Israeli strategy and one that is meaningful: there is no place for a bridge between Gaza and the West Bank in Israel's plans.

by shergald on Tue Sep 7th, 2010 at 03:17:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't trust those poll numbers; I think I know where you're getting them. The pollster also confidently predicted Hamas would lose the 2006 legislative elections.

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Fri Sep 10th, 2010 at 11:13:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR)

"PSR published the results of the exit poll after the closing of the election centers. Our results gave the advantage to Fateh (42% compared to 35% for Hamas). The actual results showed Hamas gaining the advantage with 44% versus Fateh's 41%. In a previous statement, PSR expressed the believe that the error in the prediction was the result of the large number of rejections on the day of elections. A total of 3560, or 17%, of the voters in the sample, refused to be interviewed on the day of election. The rejection, PSR believes was the result of deliberate incitement against pollsters . In order to overcome the problem, we have re-weighted the data to reflect the actual outcome of the elections for the lists in the districts and at the national level. The following results and analysis are based on the re-weighted data which reflect the actual outcome of the elections with the advantage going to Hamas rather than Fateh."


It is possible that the high numbers of "rejections" were from people who didn't want to admit they switched votes for Hamas. The survey I am referring to I don't believe had that problem. I don't have the time to hunt it up, however.

by shergald on Fri Sep 10th, 2010 at 03:10:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Give a 4 to all nine comments, please.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Thu Sep 16th, 2010 at 05:46:13 PM EST

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