Posted on Aug 29, 2010
It may be obvious to some, but Palestinians aren’t the only people upset about Israel’s settlement activity. More than 60 Israeli theater professionals have joined a boycott against a new West Bank cultural center in Ariel, an Israeli settlement 12.5 miles within Palestinian territory.
Members of the boycott vowed to refuse to work in productions within Israeli settlements, believing their participation would “strengthen the settlement enterprise.” —JCL
Dozens of Israeli actors, playwrights and directors have signed a letter refusing to take part in productions by leading theatre companies at a new cultural centre in a West Bank settlement, prompting renewed debate over the legitimacy of artistic boycott.
More than 60 professionals have joined the protest over plans by Israel’s national theatre, the Habima, and other leading companies to stage performances in Ariel, a settlement 12.5 miles inside the West Bank. The letter, to Israel’s culture minister, Limor Livnat, says the new centre for performing arts in Ariel, which is due to open in November after 20 years in construction, would “strengthen the settlement enterprise”.
“We want to express our dismay with the intention of the theatres’ managements to perform in the new auditorium in Ariel and hereby declare that we will refuse to perform in the city, as in any other settlement.” Israel’s theatre companies should “pursue their prolific activity inside the sovereign territory of the state of Israel within the boundaries of the Green Line”.
AP / Ariel Schalit
The new cultural center in Ariel, a Jewish settlement deep inside the West Bank.