The family of slain Hevron region IDF commander Dror Weinberg have gone public with their condemnation of a state-funded theatrical performance they say is reminiscent of Nazi propaganda.
“My family and I went to the play ‘Hevron’, which is being performed at the HaBima-Cameri theater in Tel Aviv,” Batsheva Weinberg told Army Radio. “The way they portray the settlers is exactly like the Nazis used to try to portray the Jews. They portray them as completely fanatical and without any sense of humanity, while creating emotional sympathy for Arab murderers.”
Col. Dror Weinberg was killed by Arab terrorists in an attack on November 15, 2002 in which 12 people were killed. The nine soldiers and three civilians, as well as 15 wounded, were targeted by a group of terrorists with automatic weapons and grenades as they walked home from Sabbath eve prayers at the Cave of the Patriarchs.
The Hevron play includes a religious IDF commander who some have said is a reference to Weinberg. “The actors who portrayed the Arabs were very authentic,” Weinberg said. “They spoke with conviction – they believed in what they said. But the actors that portrayed the settlers and soldiers were exaggerated and seemed to constantly convey the message that to serve in the army in these places is immoral.”
Just days after both Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi called upon the public to restore a sense of shame to the phenomenon of dodging the draft, Weinberg said she was compelled to go public with her objections amid the realization that the performance, put on with public funds “is a propaganda piece intended to spread the message that it is immoral to serve in the IDF.”
The HaBima web site describes the play as: “An original and surprising political drama portraying the Israelis and Palestinians as trapped in a conflict of mythic proportions…The pressure cooker in which the tiny Jewish settlement imprisons the Arab majority in the city explodes on the day of the olive harvest.”
Director Oded Kutler defended the play, saying that the theater version of the City of the Patriarchs is not the same Hevron that Weinberg defended, but one created by the imagination of the playwright. He added that he believes “the pain of the settlers is also explored. The settlers are portrayed in a very humane and sensitive manner. There is just one soldier among all the soldiers portrayed at the checkpoint who stood and prevented a wounded man and pregnant woman from getting to the hospital – something which does happen in real life."
Kutler said that Weinberg and other should realize that “There are not only mourners on one side.”