(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Hundreds gathered on Monday at the Habima theater in Tel Aviv to demonstrate support for its actors who are boycotting performances in the West Bank city of Ariel.
MK Dov Henin (Hadash) said that, "the Israeli theater is not and will not be a puppet theater. It is a theater of people with independent thoughts and consciences."
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Amid growing calls Sunday for a counter-boycott against artists who refuse to perform in Ariel’s new cultural center, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu condemned the artists
for joining an “international attack of delegitimization” against Israel.
The Knesset’s Education, Culture and Sports Committee on Sunday announced that it would hold an emergency hearing on the artists’ petition, while left-wing MKs and organizations sprang to the aid of the actors, writers and producers who signed the petition late last week.
“The State of Israel is under an attack of delegitimization by elements in the international community. This attack includes attempts to enact economic, academic and cultural boycotts. The last thing we need at this time is to be under such an attack – I mean this attempt at a boycott – from within,” complained Netanyahu at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting.
On Friday, 36 prominent theater personalities sent a letter to the directors-general of Israeli theaters
which they said that they would boycott any event held in the Ariel
facility, as working there would be “against their consciences.”
The writers, directors and actors wrote the letter in response to
reports in Haaretz
that a NIS 40 million cultural center was slated to
open in Ariel (population about 17,000) in November.
The Cameri, Khan, Habima and Beersheba Theaters are scheduled to mount productions in the new facility.