Posts Tagged ‘shakespeare’

Eventually, culture trumps boycott. Haters will be haters, and BDSers will be loud violent spammers who, in the end of the day, achieve nothing.

They’ll spam twitter with hundreds of tweets (all coming from the same few people), they’ll falsely claim they are trending and making the conversation their own, but when it comes to results…

Habima show took place and was recieved with applause – Another one is taking place tonight.

BDS protesters showed hardly any presence and certainly no effect, apart from being arrested.

And despite the unbalanced media coverage, where it actually means something – we all #loveculture.

Share these if you support free art and culture without borders!

 

During  the last month London has been hosting the Shakespeare Festival, where Shakespeare is being reenacted in 37 different languages including rap and sign language 🙂 and of course Palestinian Arabic.

I brought the subject up a while ago, after BDS activists have called to ban Habima, Israel’s national theater,  from the Festival and failed. The bottom line of the answer they received from the Globe was simple-  We separate the arts from politics.

Habima shows at the festival are due this week- Monday and Tuesday nights. From what I’m hearing (they’re not exactly being secretive about it…) BDS activists are planning on interrupting  Habima shows in any way the can.
 Unfortunately,  me and fellow Pro Israel activists can’t be there by body, but we sure will support Habima actors by soul, and of course spread our digital love! Others are already campaigning big time to celebrate the #BDSfail  Culture and art #win. This is the source!
If you agree with me that Shakespeare should be played in Hebrew just like in any other language, and  that boycotting Habima isn’t just pointless- But is downright harmful, just be prepared to take action too. I’ll be online Monday and Tuesday nights from 19:30 PM, ready to receive and spread reports from the shows.
Help me tweet, post and share to support actors and crew of the Hebrew play, as well as the Globe theater for making the right choice. Share the photo in this post or make a different one – just show some love…

The debate around the BDS’s call to ban Habima, Israel’s leading theater, from the Shakespeare Festival raises a few questions regarding the very fine line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, and on which side of the line does BDS really stand.

Anti-Semitism is quite easy to define: suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews – it is quite simply, racism based on religion.

Anti-Zionism is a bit harder to nail down: opposition to Zionistic views and the state of Israel – it is, in the the BDS movements view, a political stance.

Let’s assume that anti-Zionism is strictly legitimate and political view and right to be held by anyone who wants to change the status quo in Israel. How does this view fit with trying to boycott the Hebrew language?

Plays at the Globe to Globe Shakespeare festival are enacted in 37 languages – From common English to Cantonese, Brazilian Portuguese, Yoruba, Hip Hop (!) and even Palestinian Arabic. But not Hebrew?

The Hebrew language belongs to the Jews through the Bible for thousands of years and is not dependent only on Jews who chose to live in Israel. It exists in religious ceremonies by Jews all over the world and has existed long before the state of Israel was established or even dreamed of.

The Globe Theater denounced early on the BDS’s call to bar Habima’s performance from the festival in an open letter  based on this simple point:

“Rather, we wished to celebrate the huge variety of languages and cultures which have encountered, learnt from and extended the reach of Shakespeare’s work, and as such we were determined to reflect as wide and as comprehensive a variety of languages as possible.”

Still, the calls to boycott or simply disrupt the Hebrew performance continue.

Is this a case of anti-Zionism or anti-Semitism or both? Or perhaps, anti-Zionism is simply anti-Semitism as was so eloquently put by the late Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King in his Letter to an Anti-Zionist Friend:

And what is anti-Zionist? It is the denial to the Jewish people of a fundamental right that we justly claim for the people of Africa and freely accord all other nations of the Globe. It is discrimination against Jews, my friend, because they are Jews.  In short, it is anti-Semitism…The times have made it unpopular, in the West, to proclaim openly a hatred of the Jews.  This being the case, the anti-Semite must constantly seek new forms and forums for his poison.  How he must revel in the new masquerrade!  He does not hate the Jews, he is just ‘anti-Zionist’! Let my words echo in the depths of your soul:  When people criticize Zionism, they mean Jews — make no mistake about it.”

I am sure that when the all the BDS supporters say “Zionist”, they are referring to all Jews living in Israel regardless of their age and political beliefs.

I am equally sure that 90% of them are simply anti-Semitic.

I am even more certain that boycotting a Hebrew version of Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice” is quite simply anti-Semitism.

If you agree, support the Globe Theater’s decision on their facebook page, mention their twitter user @The_Globe and contact them here.

And if you are lucky enough to be in London on the 28th or the 29th of May, buy a ticket and experience Shakespeare in Hebrew.

May 2 update: Ian Thal wrote about this intelligently and exhaustively in his blog. Worth reading.