Cultural Boycott

Tamar-kali with her band and special guest Sonny Singh at "Palestine Calling"
Brooklyn vocalist and composer Tamar-kali with her band and special guest Sonny Singh at our "Palestine Calling" event on November 14th, 2015.

Event

 

Monday, September 18, 2017 - 7:00pm

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On September 18, join writers Susan Abulhawa and Sarah Schulman, poet Aja Monet, and legal expert Radhika Sainath as they discuss the repression of Palestinian cultural production as well as the increasingly harsh attempts here in the United States to silence criticism of Israeli government policies.

Free (Speech) Palestine continues the conversation about solidarity and the role of the artist that was sparked by the campaign calling on PEN America to reject Israeli government sponsorship for its World Voices Festival. The evening’s conversation will address the conditions under which Palestinian artists labor, the Palestinian call for the cultural boycott of Israel, and efforts to criminalize BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) in the United States.

Press Coverage

HowlRound

Abstract: 

David Grossman’s novel To the End of the Land tells the story of an Israeli mother’s journey after her son is summoned for military service. It’s a story about loss, love and the harsh realities of war written by a talented and subtle writer, a left-leaning critic of the Israeli government. Hanan Snir’s stage adaptation was presented at Lincoln Center and as a lefty Jewish American playwright I really wished I could see it. But I couldn’t.

Press Coverage

+972

Abstract: 

Now Regev is expected to meet the creators of the play once again, this time on another distinguished stage, at the Lincoln Center Festival in New York. It is hard to believe that when Grossman allowed Habima and The Cameri, Israel’s leading theaters, to stage his novel, he expected to stand shoulder to shoulder with Regev against the BDS campaign.

Press Coverage

New York Times

Abstract: 

In the weeks before the festival, that first production drew fire when several dozen artists (Caryl Churchill, Wallace Shawn, Lynn Nottage and Taylor Mac among them) signed a letter protesting the play on the grounds that the Israeli government had helped sponsor it and that the companies involved had performed in Israeli settlements within the occupied territories.

Press Release

New York, NY, July 24 – An Israeli government-supported theater initiative begins tonight at Lincoln Center, despite a protest letter signed by over 80 artists. The Lincoln Center performances are taking place against a backdrop of heightened Israeli government repression of Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation in the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, and revelations that 43 Senators hope to implement a law that could make it a felony for Americans to support similar boycott protests against Israel. Reported plans by Israel’s anti-Palestinian Minister of Culture Miri Regev to travel to New York for the performances underline the importance the hardline Israeli government places on its Lincoln Center partnership.

In the letter to Lincoln Center the artists called for the cancellation of Monday’s performance because it is part of the Israeli government’s Brand Israel public relations strategy and because the Israeli theater groups involved, Ha’Bima and Cameri, have played in and legitimized Israel’s illegal settlements. The signers of the letter to Lincoln Center include winners of numerous theater awards, including four Pulitzers, three Tonys, and nine Obies.

Press Coverage

The Forward

Abstract: 

Ever since a group of surprisingly high-profile theater artists called on Lincoln Center to cancel its upcoming production of an Israeli state-sponsored play, New York City’s theater community has been reeling with discomfort. While many theater professionals sympathize with the Palestinian cause, few, in their heart of hearts, want to cancel a play, especially in today’s hostile cultural environment, where the president plans to eliminate the NEA and Trump supporters are interrupting Julius Caesar.

Press Coverage

The Jewish Voice

Abstract: 

“To The End of the Land,” an Israeli play at New York’s Lincoln Center, has sparked protests from over 60 writers, directors, actors, and playwrights, including Pulitzer Prize winners, who have added their signatures to a letter condemning the production.

Press Coverage

The New York Jewish Week

Abstract: 

When works by two of Israel’s most celebrated artists — novelist David Grossman and filmmaker Amos Gitai — have their North American premieres as theatrical productions at the Lincoln Center Festival, the fierce debate in Israel over the role of the arts, as well as BDS politics here, will provide a backdrop to the action.

Document

(Translation of Ha’aretz article for Adalah-NY. Original Hebrew story: https://www.haaretz.co.il/gallery/theater/1.4235031)

In a letter they sent, along with more than 70 cultural figures, they call on the Lincoln Center to cancel the play at the festival, claiming that Habima and the Cameri are supported by the Israeli government, and that the two [theaters] have performed in the settlements

July 6, 2017 Updated July 8, 2017
Yair Ashkenazi

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