Dismay at Globe invitation to Israeli theatre
The Guardian, Thursday 29 March 2012
Open Letter by Members of the U.K.'s Theater and Film Industries: "We notice with dismay and regret that Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London has invited Israel's National Theatre, Habima, to perform The Merchant of Venice in its Globe to Globe festival this coming May. The general manager of Habima has declared the invitation "an honourable accomplishment for the State of Israel." But Habima has a shameful record of involvement with illegal Israeli settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory."
To the Members of the U.K.'s Theater and Film Industries
Writing this letter is a good way for me to discuss your denial of facts and the disrespect that you bestow on your British people's history.
Did you know that your government was the leading force among the fifty-one member countries – the entire League of Nations – that unanimously declared on July 24, 1922:
"Recognition has been given to the historical connection of the Jewish People with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstructing their National Home in that country."
Did you know that Britain as Mandatory became the official administrator and mentor over Jewish Palestine, the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, where the "Mandate for Palestine" clearly stated as follow:
Article 5: "The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of the Government of any foreign power." The territory of Palestine was exclusively assigned for the Jewish National Home.
Article 6: "The administration of Palestine ... shall encourage ... close settlement by Jews on the land, including State land and waste land not required for public purpose."
Jewish settlements are legal, and there are no "Occupied Palestinian Territories."
Did you know that your country's hero Sir Winston Churchill had that to say about Jewish "Occupation" of Palestine:
"When it is asked what is meant by the development of the Jewish National Home in Palestine, it may be answered that it is not the imposition of a Jewish nationality upon the inhabitants of Palestine as a whole, but the further development of the existing Jewish community, with the assistance of Jews in other parts of the world, in order that it may become a centre in which the Jewish people as a whole may take, on grounds of religion and race, an interest and a pride."
My friend, the British world of culture: It is not "The settlements" nor is it the "Occupation" that Arabs reject. They reject the internationally recognized lawful right of Israel to exist as a legitimate, secured, Jewish political entity –
But you choose to collaborate with Arabs that deliberately and systematically call for the destruction of Israel.
Palestinian Arabs have underscored their rejectionism to peace with wave after wave of terrorism at every juncture – that is, before the 1967 Six-Day War and even prior to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, and this too is being ignored by you.
If we talk culture, you would be most interested to know how the [British] Palestine Royal Commission described Jewish culture's achievement after their visit to Jewish Palestine in 1937:
"With every year that passes, the contrast between this intensely democratic and highly organized modern [Jewish] community and the old-fashioned Arab world around it grows sharper, and in nothing, perhaps, more markedly than on its cultural side. The literary output of the [Jewish] National Home is out of all proportion to its size. ... But perhaps the most striking aspect of the culture of the [Jewish] National Home is its love of music.
"All in all, the cultural achievement of this little [Jewish] community of 400,000 people is one of the most remarkable features of the [Jewish] National Home."
In fact, the term "Palestine" applied almost exclusively to Jews and the institutions founded by new Jewish immigrants in the first half of the 20th century, before the state's independence.
Take for example today's Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, founded in 1936 by Jewish refugees who fled Nazi Germany, was originally called the "Palestine Symphony Orchestra composed of some 70 Palestinian Jews."
My British friends, if you are indeed aware that the path you have embarked on leads to hate and destruction, and if you have freely chosen to walk in that direction, please think it over.