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[Boycott - Cultural]

London protest urges Shakespeare's Globe Theatre to cancel Israel performance


inminds
29 March 2016

On 25th March 2016 activists from Inminds human rights group protested outside Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London urging the theatre not to breach the Palestinian call for a cultural boycott of Israel and cancel their scheduled performance at the Cameri Theatre in Tel Aviv on 30th March 2016.









The Cameri Theatre is inextricably linked to the Israeli military with their weekly performance's for the troops, scholarships for soldiers and materials for military bases provided by the theatre's funding arm.

The Cameri Theatre is also seeped in Israel's colonisation programme with its regular performances in Israel's Jews-only illegal settlements built on stolen Palestinian land.

A letter to the Globe's artistic director Dominic Dromgoole, written on the day of the protest, by senior British theatre figures, and Palestinian theatre and cultural groups, asking Shakespeare’s Globe theatre not to perform at the Cameri Theatre was read out at the protest along with speeches and street theatre (full letter below).

Inminds chair Abbas Ali said: "We are angry and disappointed. Why is Shakespeare's Globe playing at a theatre complicit in war crimes? Just 44 miles up the road from the Cameri is devastated Gaza still bleeding from the last massacre. Does Palestinian suffering mean nothing to them? We spoke to the Globe's artistic director Dominic Dromgoole, but he seemed more concerned about us projecting words onto his wall than about Palestinian lives. Rather than deal with the issue of complicity in war crimes he wanted to censor our words. Is this really what Shakespeare is about?"

In his reply to the letter (full letter below), Dominic Dromgoole refers to the protest in very derisory terms:
"to have a group of people standing outside the Globe this evening and chanting ‘shame on you Globe’, projecting abusive messages onto the wall of the Globe, and accusing us of vile crimes, was a long way beyond disappointing. It was shameful."
Rather than respond to these baseless charges we leave it to the reader to decide - we have included all the "abusive messages" projected on the wall under the slides section below; and we have included the script of the speech we read out outside the Globe for readers to analyze; and we have the video of the protest showing our interaction with Dominic Dromgoole and his security team. We also have a full 90m video of the whole protest (from the flag cam) should we be accused of selectively editing the released video to hide any incidents (available upon request).







VIDEO - Shakespeare's Globe Theatre cancel Israel





SPEECH


We are here today outside Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London to urge the Globe to stand on the side of justice and against racism, and against apartheid, to cancel your scheduled performance in apartheid Israel next Wednesday and to stand with the Palestinians who have called for a boycott of Israel.

The Globe Theatre is scheduled to perform Hamlet at the Cameri Theatre in Tel Aviv on 30th March 2016 as part of its ‘Globe to Globe Hamlet’ project.

The Cameri Theatre is inextricably linked to the Israeli army. It usually holds weekly events for the Israeli army, and its funding arm provides special scholarship for soldiers, and materials for military bases, and performs to them. All this just 44 miles from devastated Gaza, where the same Israeli army indiscriminately slaughtered innocent men, women, children. The United Nations has said “The extent of the devastation and human suffering in Gaza is unprecedented and will impact generations to come.” Last year the Israeli army was once again charged with war crimes by the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Why is Shakespeare’s Globe theatre playing at a theatre complicit in these crimes?
The Globe brings shame on the good name of William Shakespeare.
Shame on you, Globe!

The Cameri Theatre also supports the illegal settlements which the British government has condemned. Just last summer the Cameri Theatre performed the play ‘Mother Courage’ to an exclusively Jewish-only colonialist settler audience at the illegal Ariel settlement in occupied Palestinian West Bank where local Palestinians are prevented from attending. There are even reports that Israeli artists who do not wish to be implicated in war crimes by their performance in illegal settlements have been pressured by the Cameri Theatre into doing so.

In 2012 when the Cameri Theatre was scheduled to participate at Dehli’s International Arts Festival, 150 Indian artists and theatre groups wrote to the festival stating that “The Cameri Theatre serves as an official propaganda tool for the State of Israel -- a state that occupies Palestinian lands and practises apartheid policies on the Palestinian people. The Cameri theatre is complicit in the Israeli occupation of Palestine because it chooses to perform in the illegal settlement of Ariel. Ariel is one of the largest settlements in the occupied West Bank, located on expropriated agricultural Palestinian land. The construction of Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land violates international law, and amounts to a war crime. Illegal Ariel contaminates Palestinian water and agricultural lands. Illegal Ariel is surrounded by walls and fences, and closely guarded by soldiers and armed security personnel. A theatrical performance in this illegal settlement is, by definition, a performance to an exclusively Israeli audience. Palestinians living even in the nearest village are physically excluded from attending. By performing in such circumstances, the Cameri profits from and legitimizes Israel’s illegal colonization policies, and becomes an accomplice to these crimes.”

Why does Shakespeare’s Globe choose to also become an accomplice to these war crimes?
The Globe brings shame on the good name of William Shakespeare.
Shame on you, Globe!

In 2005 Palestinian civil society, including Palestinian arts and cultural organisations, asked for a boycott of Israel, and as part of that a cultural boycott of Israel.

Desmond Tutu wrote, “Just as we said during apartheid that it was inappropriate for international artists to perform in South Africa in a society founded on discriminatory laws and racial exclusivity, so it would be wrong [today] to perform in Israel.”..“We South Africans suffered decades of apartheid and can recognize it in other places. I have myself witnessed the apartheid reality that Israel has created within its borders and in the occupied Palestinian territory. I have seen the occupied, colonized and racially segregated streets in Hebron, the Jewish-only colonies, and I have walked by the Wall that divides Palestinian families in Bethlehem and denies their children normal access to school. I have seen the racialized ID systems, different-color car plates, and the racial laws that discriminate against Palestinians.. I have seen Israeli apartheid in action. .. If we cannot, at the very least, heed the appeals of Palestinian society, to refrain from undermining their peaceful resistance and aspirations for a life without oppression, we will be abandoning our moral obligations. In situations of oppression, neutrality means taking the side of the oppressor".

We ask the Globe Theatre to follow your conscience and to stand on the right side of history, to stand against racism and against occupation, and to cancel your Israel performance.

Boycott Apartheid!
Boycott racism!
Free Palestine!












BACKGROUND


BOYCOTTS OF CAMERI THEATRE

In 2012, former director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Peter Brook pulled out of the Cameri Theatre's annual International Festival of Plays.

Mr Brook, director of Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, declared that his company will not take part because he is “against the act of colonisation”. Mr Brook signed a letter to the Cameri said: “The fact that the Cameri Theatre has accepted to support the brutal action of colonisation by playing in Ariel [in the West Bank] has made us aware that in coming to your theatre we would appear as a support for that brutal action. This forces us to decline your invitation to perform in your theatre. The decision is entirely ours, and not to come to you, it is our free choice. We know that there are many amongst you and in your country who share our attitude and it is them we wish to support as well as the people of Palestine.”

http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/83891/israeli-theatre-plans-legal-action-over-british-directors-boycott


In 2012 when the Cameri Theatre was scheduled to participate at Dehli’s International Arts Festival, 150 Indian artists and theatre groups wrote to the festival stating that “The Cameri Theatre serves as an official propaganda tool for the State of Israel -- a state that occupies Palestinian lands and practises apartheid policies on the Palestinian people. The Cameri theatre is complicit in the Israeli occupation of Palestine because it chooses to perform in the illegal settlement of Ariel. Ariel is one of the largest settlements in the occupied West Bank, located on expropriated agricultural Palestinian land. The construction of Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land violates international law, and amounts to a war crime. Illegal Ariel contaminates Palestinian water and agricultural lands. Illegal Ariel is surrounded by walls and fences, and closely guarded by soldiers and armed security personnel. A theatrical performance in this illegal settlement is, by definition, a performance to an exclusively Israeli audience. Palestinians living even in the nearest village are physically excluded from attending. By performing in such circumstances, the Cameri profits from and legitimizes Israel’s illegal colonization policies, and becomes an accomplice to these crimes.”

http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=2016


CULTURAL BOYCOTT

In 2005 Palestinian civil society, including Palestinian arts and cultural organisations, asked for a boycott of Israel, and as part of that a cultural boycott of Israel.

Desmond Tutu wrote, “Just as we said during apartheid that it was inappropriate for international artists to perform in South Africa in a society founded on discriminatory laws and racial exclusivity, so it would be wrong [today] to perform in Israel.”..“We South Africans suffered decades of apartheid and can recognize it in other places. I have myself witnessed the apartheid reality that Israel has created within its borders and in the occupied Palestinian territory. I have seen the occupied, colonized and racially segregated streets in Hebron, the Jewish-only colonies, and I have walked by the Wall that divides Palestinian families in Bethlehem and denies their children normal access to school. I have seen the racialized ID systems, different-color car plates, and the racial laws that discriminate against Palestinians.. I have seen Israeli apartheid in action. ... If we cannot, at the very least, heed the appeals of Palestinian society, to refrain from undermining their peaceful resistance and aspirations for a life without oppression, we will be abandoning our moral obligations. In situations of oppression, neutrality means taking the side of the oppressor".






LETTER TO DOMINIC DROMGOOLE

On 25th March 2016 British theatre figures, and Palestinian theatre and cultural groups, have asked Shakespeare’s Globe theatre not to perform at the Cameri Theatre in Tel Aviv. Their letter to the Globe’s artistic director Dominic Dromgoole reads:

Dear Dominic Dromgoole,

We are disappointed that the Globe appears to have succumbed to Israeli blandishments or pressure in including the Cameri theatre in the touring schedule for 'Hamlet' on March 30.

You are surely aware that Cameri, at least as much as Israel’s other national theatre Habima, has played its part in legitimising the illegal occupation of Palestinian land by performing on many occasions in the settlement city of Ariel.

In 2012, some of us were among 37 British actors, directors and playwrights who urged you not to host Habima as part of the Globe’s cultural Olympiad festival. One of our stated reasons was that to do so would undermine those courageous Israeli artists who had publicly committed themselves to refusing to perform in Ariel.

Theatre director Peter Brook, in September 2012, declined an invitation to take his company to visit Cameri because, by playing in Ariel, that theatre had ‘accepted to support the brutal action of colonisation’ and therefore ‘in coming to your theatre we would appear as a support for that brutal action'.
He acknowledged those artists and other Israelis 'who share our attitude' and said 'it is them we wish to support as well as the people of Palestine'.

The brutality and injustice experienced by Palestinians, including their artistic community, have only intensified in the past four years.

We therefore ask you not to be indifferent to the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality, and to remove Cameri from your tour schedule.

Signed:

Saleh Bakri, actor, Palestine
Justin Butcher, actor, director
David Calder, actor
Caryl Churchill, playwright
Tony Graham, director
John Graham Davies, actor, director
Miriam Margolyes, actress
Andrea Mason, actor
Al-Harah Theater, Palestine
Al Kamandjati, Palestine
Ashtar Theater, Palestine
El-Funoun Dance Troupe, Palestine
Freedom Theater, Jenin
Palestinian Circus School
Palestine Performing Arts Network (PPAN)
Theater Day Productions, Palestine
Yabous Cultural Centre, Palestine
Yes Theater, Palestine

Letter arranged by Artists for Palestine collective
http://artistsforpalestine.org.uk/2016/03/25/shakespeares-globe-told-dont-give-this-performance-in-israel/






DOMINIC DROMGOOLE REPLY

26th March 2016

Dear All,

You will be aware that the 2012 Olympiad festival at the Globe included only one unrecognised state amongst its participants, and that was Palestine. Many told us that we should not invite a company from Palestine, we received many letters of protest, and different forms of pressure, but we insisted. You will also be aware that our tour of Hamlet is attempting to visit every country in the world. We are visiting only three unrecognised states, Palestine, Kosovo and Somaliland. Many put pressure on us not to go to Palestine, but we insisted. It was a privilege for us to host the company in 2012, and it was an honour for us to visit Palestine last year. There are few companies with such a profile who have made such a commitment. To accuse us of indifference given that commitment is a simple untruth.

You may also be aware that our tour of Hamlet has visited some of the least advantaged, and hardest to access countries on earth; that it has played in four different refugee camps, in Zaatari, Jordan for Syrian refugees, in Djibouti for Yemeni refugees, in Cameroon for displaced people from the Central African Republic, and in the Jungle in Calais for the displaced of too many nations. in most of the places it has gone, it has played for free, and has engaged enthusiastically with the communities it has met. We were the first company to visit Somaliland in the history of the nation. There is no other company which has made such a commitment to fully inclusive internationalism, and to engaging with all countries.

The tour has left us out of pocket, since we have received scant to zero support from any public or private body, and we have thus had to subsidise our travelling to the too many less advantaged countries ourselves. There have been no blandishments or pressures.

We are aware that everything said above will not shift your moral disapproval, and that saddens us. There are many who felt we should not go to Russia, to China, to Belarus, to Zimbabwe, to Saudi, to the US, to Turkey, to Myanmar, and to many more, and their disapproval of our determination to go there saddens us equally. So we will conclude out of pocket and friends. However for us every country is every country, and each people deserve Shakespeare.

Though we expect nothing but your condemnation, and we know that, we can give a little context. Within that context is our reciprocal commitment to Palestine in the face of much pressure not to make such commitment, and the astonishing courage and good faith of this company of actors and stage managers in taking this performance to places that most actors and artists would not dream of going. Given that context, to have a group of people standing outside the Globe this evening and chanting ‘shame on you Globe’, projecting abusive messages onto the wall of the Globe, and accusing us of vile crimes, was a long way beyond disappointing. It was shameful.

Our travels around the world have bewildered us in many ways, but also taught us that there are bad people, bad ideas, and bad systems in place in many countries. And often much worse than bad. We really do think that there are more important and more dangerous governments, institutions and individuals to protest against than the Globe. Not least our own. I am aware that this response will not satisfy, but please, before you crank up the abuse, and tell us that we are only pawns in a game, I do ask you as artists and academics to pay a little respect to the incredible achievement of this group of actors and stage managers. They are worth more than abuse.

All the best,

Dominic Dromgoole
Artistic Director

http://artistsforpalestine.org.uk/2016/03/28/artists-group-tells-globe-listen-to-palestinians-dont-play-tel-aviv/

MORE PHOTOS









































RESOURCES - SLIDES PROJECTED ON GLOBE THEATRE WALL



Globe don't perform for apartheid



Respect cultural boycott of apartheid Israel



Boycott Cameri - it performs in illegal settlements



"to thine own self be true" Don't side with oppression



"Something is rotten in Israel" Apartheid Occupation Colonisation



"Et to, Globe?" Scheduled to play apartheid Israel 30/3



Cameri theatre complicit in war crimes! Globe why perform there?



Don't dishonour my name! Shakespeare rejects apartheid!



Globe to perform 44 miles from Gaza massacre..



Globe blind to Palestinian suffering



For justice in Palestine - Boycott Israel

Source: www.inminds.com


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