American Screen, Stage Artists Support West Bank Boycott
150 artists have joined Jewish Voice for Peace in supporting boycott of new cultural centre in Ariel.
As we reported in August, nearly 60 Israeli theatre professionals signed a petition to boycott a new cultural centre in the West Bank settlement of Ariel. Now, 150 American and British actors, writers and directors are pledging their support for the boycott with a letter created by Jewish Voice for Peace, a peace-activist organization in the U.S.
Calling the Israelis’ decision “courageous” and “wonderful,” and stating “It's thrilling to think that these Israeli theatre artists have refused to allow their work to be used to normalize a cruel occupation,” the letter includes signatures by Jewish celebrities such as Ed Asner, Theodore Bikel, Tony Kushner and Mandy Patinkin.
Other supporters include Julianne Moore, Cynthia Nixon, Vanessa Redgrave, Eve Ensler, Harold Prince, James Bundy (dean of the Yale School of Drama) and many more. At least 150 Israelis academics and writers, including Amos Oz and David Grossman, have also announced support for the boycott.
In its mission statement, Jewish Voice for Peace claims to “[oppose] anti-Jewish, anti-Muslim, and anti-Arab bigotry and oppression” and seeks “an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem.”
Their letter follows statements by Benjamin Netanyahu and others condemning the boycott initiative.
“The State of Israel is under an attack of delegitimization by elements in the international community…. The last thing we need at this time is to be under such an attack – I mean this attempt at a boycott – from within,” said Netanyahu at a cabinet meeting in late August.