An actor who plays the role of Jonathan Pollard in a Cameri Theater production called “Pollard's Trial” has announced he will not attend the September 19 debut of the show in Kiryat Arba.
Although the show will go on in the Judean city's new cultural hall, it will do so without the talent of actor Rami Baruch, who refuses to participate.
Baruch said his contract only obligates him to perform within Israel's 1949 Armistice Lines, also known as the Green Line.
“Kiryat Arba is not Ariel,” the actor told the Hebrew-language daily newspaper Yediot Acharanot. “I made a decision, understanding that it could lead to financial ramifications and counter boycotts. Kiryat Arba is where Baruch Goldstein and [Rabbi Meir] Kahane came from, and I asked myself what is my place in this whole story.”
Dr. Baruch Goldstein gunned down 29 Muslims and wounded dozens of others during prayers at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron in 1994.
Rabbi Meir Kahane, a former Member of Knesset, was the first victim of Islamic terrorism on U.S. soil; he was gunned down at a hotel in New York in 1990 by Egyptian terrorist El Sayyid Nosair. Kahane was controversial for his contention that Israel's Arab population would someday constitute a demographic threat to the Jewish existence of the state through the principle of a Western democracy, particularly if that Arab population were unwilling to acknowledge Israel as a Jewish State.
Leftist groups warmly praised the actor's stance, including Peace Now Secretary-General Yariv Oppenheimer.
“Kiryat Arba is a symbol of racism,” Oppenheimer said. “Artists and performers have no business there.”
“Clearly, Baruch has given in to pressure from the extreme Left,” said Kiryat Arba-Hevron Council head Malachi Levinger, “choosing to violate the anti-boycott law adopted by the Knesset.”
A second council member commented that Jonathan Pollard, serving a life sentence in a U.S. prison on a single count of passing classified information to Israel more than 25 years ago, would likely ask Baruch to stop portraying him, if he were to hear about his actions.