FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York, NY, October 2, 2018 – Palestinian arts and solidarity organizations, along with US Jewish and Israeli groups, have joined theater artists in signing a letter calling on Toronto, New York and Pittsburgh arts organizations not to host Israel’s Gesher Theatre or partner with the Israeli government, citing their involvement in violations of Palestinian rights. Award-winning actors Kathleen Chalfant and Miriam Margolyes, and playwrights Caryl Churchill, Betty Shamieh, Naomi Wallace, and Anne Washburn are among the artists who signed the letter.
Gesher Theatre says their Canadian and US performances were “made possible with the generous support of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.” At their opening Toronto performance Saturday night hosted by the Ontario Heritage Trust, supporters of Palestinian rights handed out flyers calling for a boycott of Gesher Theatre, and held aloft a large sign saying “Your Event is Sponsored by the Israeli government. Its Military Killed 150 Unarmed Palestinian Protesters in Gaza This Summer.” In a statement, the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid in Toronto said, "We protested Gesher Theatre’s opening night in Toronto to show the event for what it really is – an effort by the Israeli government to distract attention away from its violations of Palestinians' rights.”