Israel’s national theater under pressure to boycott Kiryat Arba settlement

“The willingness of the theater, its employees and its players to take part in the normalization of the occupation, in which Kiryat Arba is transformed into just another city, is very troubling.”

By
October 25, 2016 19:05
1 minute read.
The Habima Theater in Tel Aviv

The Habima Theater in Tel Aviv. (photo credit: WWW.HABIMA.CO.IL)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Israel’s national theater company Habima is under pressure from left-wing academics and activists to boycott its November 10 performance in Kiryat Arba.

Ben-Gurion University lecturer Haim Weiss is among those who have called for Habima to pull out of the performance of the play, A Simple Story, based on a Shai Agnon novel.

In a post on his Facebook page Weiss called for a letter-writing campaign against such performances in West Bank settlements.

“The willingness of the theater, its employees and its players to take part in the normalization of the occupation, in which Kiryat Arba is transformed into just another city, is very troubling,” he wrote.

In another post he added that a Habima performance in Kiryat Arba was a symbolic show of legitimacy for the entire settlement movement.

Weiss added that since his initial post he has received many messages that cursed or verbally attacked him both personally and professionally, including ones that fell to the level of hate speech.

Habima said it has also received hate mail and letters protesting the performance.

One such letter said it was “disgraceful that the theater would perform in one of the most blatantly violent strongholds of the occupation.”


The letter suggested that either the actors refuse to perform or that the theater should offer half of the seats in the Kiryat Arba cultural center to area Palestinians along with simultaneous translation of the play into Arabic.

The theater has insisted that it has no plans to cave to pressure to cancel the performance.

“We’re against cultural boycotts,” a theater spokesman said, adding that it intended to provide Israelis with high quality cultural content irrespective of their place of residence.

Sports and Culture Minister Miri Regev said: “I want to strengthen Habima for its steadfastness against criticism from the Left. I regret that there are those within our country who act like the are the last of the organization of thugs, BDS [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement].”

Since entering her position, Regev said, she has promoted a policy of cultural justice that helps provide every Israeli citizen with access to the arts.

With Habima’s decisions to stage a performance in Kiryat Arba for the first time, she said, “I am happy to see this vision become reality.”

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

CELEBRATING PURIM outside the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron
March 21, 2019
The Goldstein massacre’s shadow on Hebron

By TOVAH LAZAROFF