Two-time Oscar winner Emma Thompson is among three dozen actors, directors and writers protesting the inclusion of an Israeli theater company at an upcoming Shakespeare festival in England.Boy is this insulting to the intellect. If Habimah had boycotted Ariel's theater, they would have been politicizing the whole subject. The irony here is that Habimah is running a play of the Merchant of Venice, the Shakespeare story that features the insulting depiction of Shylock and the "pound of flesh".
Recent Tony winner Mark Rylance and seven-time Oscar nominee Mike Leigh are among the other artists who signed a letter expressing “dismay and regret” that Tel Aviv’s Habimah theater will be participating in Globe to Globe, a six-week festival taking place at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London.
“Habima [sic] has a shameful record of involvement with illegal Israeli settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory,” says the letter, published March 29 in England’s Guardian newspaper. The document notes that unlike other members of Israel’s theater community, Habimah did not participate in a boycott of a controversial cultural center that opened in Ariel, a West Bank settlement, in 2010. “By inviting Habima, Shakespeare’s Globe is undermining the conscientious Israeli actors and playwrights who have refused to break international law,” the letter says.
As Jonathan Tobin explains, this is also one of the problems that a sickening leftist like Peter Beinart fails to grasp:
That’s one of the problems with Beinart’s “Zionist BDS.” As much as he may think he can draw a bright line between “good Jews” inside the green line and “bad Jews” in the West Bank, it’s one that will never be respected by Israel’s foes. Boycotts of the West Bank and Jerusalem are merely a tactic by which those who believe Israel has no right to exist will gain traction for their larger goal of Israel’s total isolation.Some of these foes, if you ask me, are equally capable of turning against even Jews in showbiz who don't live in Israel: if the Warner Brothers - Jack, Harry, Albert and Sam - were still alive today, chances are they'd have something quite nasty to say about them, even indirectly. It makes no difference what their political standings are - if they're Jewish, they are, in the view of many anti-semites, illegitimate, and their products could be too.
I no longer have any respect for Emma Thompson, who was a co-star in a nasty British movie 3 years ago with a very abominable view of Jews called "An Education". Nor do I dig Mike Leigh, another of the boycott supporters, and as far as I'm concerned, their plays and movies are not worth wasting money on.