A comment on BDS and Ashtar Theatre from Ramallah
By Gilad Atzmon
In recent weeks we have seen a massive BDS campaign against Israeli Habima Theatre’s participation in the Shakespeare's Festival at the Shakespeare's Globe, London.
For days British intellectuals and celebrities argued whether it is morally ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ to invite the Israeli national Theatre to Britain. The outcome was obvious and predictable. Habima’s London shows sold out within hours. As it happens, the futile BDS campaign, provided Habima with the necessary public attention. At the end of the day, every reasonable thinking being would be happy to spare a few pounds and watch how the Israelis and Jews deal with The Merchant of Venice.
However, I have also learned tonight that Ashtar Theatre from Ramallah is also participating in the same London festival. Ashtar will perform Richard II but, for some reason, no one really knows anything about it. Pro- Palestinian BDS activists, so enthusiastic to ban the Israeli theatre company, did nothing to promote or support the Palestinian theatre. Consequently, Ashtar Theatre hardly sold any tickets for its London shows.
I guess that time is ripe to challenge BDS strategy. As much as I support BDS in principle, I am puzzled by the fact that a UK pro-Palestinian organization went out of its way to boycott an Israeli act -yet it did nothing to promote or help a Palestinian company visiting this country for the first time.
As an artist I find it stupid. Painful and even perhaps, sinister.
To read more about the the Globe Theatre BDS Scandal visit http://www.deliberation.info
Richard II at the Globe
- Friday afternoon 4th May (2pm)
- Saturday night 5th May (7pm)