PiafIsrael news photo

“The show goes on” Monday night in the city of Ariel in Samaria, which will open its new $11 million, 530-seat performing arts center to a full house as extreme leftists’ boycott efforts fail.

The Be’er Sheva Theatre group will perform the play “Piaf,” about the life of the French chanteuse Edith Piaf.”

Protesters argued that artists should not perform at Ariel because it is an “illegal” settlement “outside of Israel.” They boycotts were met with stiff reactions from a wide spectrum of politicians, including Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

He said his Israel Is Our Home (Yisrael Beiteinu) party will back a move to cut public funds to those who boycott performing for political reasons.

Culture Minister Limor Livnat of Likud, who will be on hand for Monday’s night opening performance, has been working for a change in criteria for government grants. She wants recipients to sign an agreement that they agree to appear in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

Livnat also told Knesset committee Monday that she is establishing a special prize to encourage Zionism and counteract the boycott campaign. “We clearly are against boycotts, and we are for Zionism,” she said. “We are answering the attempt to make Israel appear de-legitimate by the campaign against the theatre in Ariel.”

Also on hand for Monday night's play will be Ariel Mayor Ron Nachman, who told Israel National News there is no need to respond to the boycott effort. He said the boycott supporter sent out a letter of "incitement" and “we are dedicating a cultural center.

The letter calling for a boycott charged that Ariel "was founded for only one purpose: to prevent Palestinians from being able to build an independent state, and by extension, preventing us, citizens of Israel, from having the chance to live in peace in this region.”