Sep 1, 2010

Israeli institutions facing new boycotts—by Israelis - #BDS

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- By now it would seem that Israelis are accustomed to calls for boycotts of Israeli products and institutions.
Many, however, may have been caught off guard this summer when those calls came from inside Israel.
In two separate incidents over the past few weeks, Israelis issued a call for boycott or announced a boycott of an Israeli institution for political reasons. One protest came from the right, directed at an Israeli university with allegedly “anti-Zionist” professors on staff; one came from the left, directed at an Israeli theater in the West Bank.
The boycotts from within may mark a new front in Israel’s political battles.
For the time being, mainstream Israeli figures are condemning both boycotts.
"Culture is a bridge in society, and political disputes should be left outside cultural life and art," Israel’s minister of culture and sport, Limor Livnat, said in response to the theater boycott.
The latest boycott call came after several Israeli theater companies announced plans to stage productions at a new theater in Ariel, a Jewish city of 20,000 in the West Bank. The $10 million cultural center in Ariel, which was built partly with government funding, is scheduled to open Nov. 8. It will be the first major theater in a Jewish settlement, most of which are smaller bedroom communities.

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