National Union Knesset Member Dr. Michael Ben-Ari put on a surprise protest performance Monday night at a play starring actors who have signed a letter pledging to boycott appearing at the new theatre in Ariel because it is located in Samaria.
MK Ben-Ari and nationalist activist Itamar Ben-Gvir left the premises after disrupting the Cameri Theatre production written and directed by supporters of the boycott.
A recent poll published in the Israel Today (Yisrael HaYom) newspaper shows that MK Ben-Ari’s views are shared by an overwhelming majority of Israelis. Seventy-seven percent of the respondents oppose the artists’ boycott and only 13.4 percent support it.
Mk Ben-Ari called the artists “racists” for boycotting parts of Israel because of their location. After the letter was published last week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said the boycott “is the last thing we need” while Israel faces a growing international campaign to de-legitimize the State.
Knesset members from the Opposition Kadima party have joined National Union and Likud MKs to back a proposal to cut funding of artists who stage political boycotts.
Concerning MK Ben-Ari’s "protest performance,” the Cameri Theatre charged him with exploiting his parliamentary immunity. He accused left-wing groups of opposing freedom of expression when it is exercised by nationalists.