Sep 8, 2010

#BDS: Boycott grows as Stephen Sondheim, Mira Nair and Julianne Moore join call against settlement theater; Palestinian activists say keep focus on the big picture

Jewish Voice for Peace's campaign to support 60 leading Israeli actors and playwrights who are refusing to play a new theater in Ariel continues to grow. Newnotable figures are joining by the day. Ed Asner explains his support, "It is always amazing when actors turn down jobs.To have the actors of Israel say they will not work in those venues is truly an act of courage.. I applaud them and would live to instill the actors of America with that courage." And Corey Fischer, co-founder of the Traveling Jewish Theater (now Jewish Theater San Francisco), expressed his admiration in the spirit of the season, “It seems to me that, as often happens in our times, these artists are taking on what was traditionally the task of the Hebrew Prophets: speaking truth to power. I hope someone is listening.”
But some questions are being raised in Palestine about the Israeli actors' protest. The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) has issued a statement in response the Israeli actors' boycott [Editor's note: Just to clarify this statement is in response to just the Israeli actors' boycott, not the letter from US artists]. While PACBI is clear they "welcome acts of protest against any manifestation of Israel’s regime of colonialism and apartheid," they do raise some important questions about the boycott, and what the protesters might be ignoring.

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