Defying threats, Habima Theater performs in Kiryat Arba
National Theater group performs in Kiryat Arba despite leftist criticism of performance for 'settlers'.
Arutz Sheva Staff, י' בחשון תשע"ז, 11/11/2016
Kobi Gideon/Flash 90

The Habima National Theater group performed the play "A Simple Story" at the cultural center in Kiryat Arba Thursday evening. Culture Minister Miri Regev and MK Yehuda Glick (Likud) were among those in the audience.

This is the first time that Habima has performed in Kiryat Arba. The announcement of the performance led to fierce criticism of the theater group by leftists and calls for the actors to boycott the performance.

Odeliah Friedman, the executive director of Habima, responded to the criticism by saying, "It is not the role of the National Theater to condemn or engage in boycotts against any sector of the population. The purpose of the National Theater is to provide quality culture for all citizens of Israel, and just as it has done so in the past, so too will it do so in the future."

MK Glick came to the performance accompanied by a guest, Muhamed Jaber, an Arab resident of Hevron. Jaber was once a member of the terrorist organization Islamic Jihad, but now he is a peace activist who opposes violence.

"Our job in the future will be to extend Israeli sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria," Glick said. "It will require us - Jews and Arabs - to learn to live together. It will mean a two-sided struggle-fighting an uncompromising battle against violent extremist factors while (at the same time) striving to live together and strengthen the moderate elements."

Glick also commented on the leftist organizations that criticized the performance in Kiryat Arba. "Once again we see the hypocrisy of those so-called 'human rights organizations.' When it comes to the Palestinians they worry about even the tiniest rights, even when it comes to terrorists. But when it comes to the Jews they work to deny the right to experience culture to law-abiding and loyal citizens."

As evening approached, activists from the radical leftist organization Breaking the Silence toured Kiryat Arba and Hevron with Habima actress Evgenia Dodina.

Right-wing activists Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben-Gvir, along with Hevron resident Ofer Ohana, came to meet the tour and to explain the real danger that comes from attackers who throw stones and Molotov cocktails at Jewish children in an attempt to kill them.

Culture Minister Regev praised Habima for standing up to leftist pressure and called the leftist organizations that protested the performance hypocrites for seeking to deny the right of Jews in Judea and Samaria to experience culture.
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