‘Sack Tri­cy­cle di­rec­tors’ call de­spite deal

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY MAR­CUS DYSCH

THE TRI­CY­CLE The­atre should con­sider sack­ing di­rec­tors who planned the boy­cott of the Jewish Film Fes­ti­val, a se­nior fig­ure close to the af­fair has ar­gued.

The Tri­cy­cle had de­manded that the UKJFF drop its £1,400 spon­sor­ship from the Is­raeli em­bassy be­fore al­low­ing it to use the north Lon­don the­atre as its main venue. But, fol­low­ing talks between the par­ties, the the­atre dropped the de­mand and said it would wel­come the fes­ti­val back.

The deal came af­ter Is­raeli am­bas­sador Daniel Taub and Cul­ture Sec­re­tary Sa­jid Javid in­ter­vened.

This year’s fes­ti­val, due to take place in Novem­ber, has been re­lo­cated to new venues and will not take place at the Tri­cy­cle. The JC un­der­stands the row and sub­se­quent move have had “sub­stan­tial” fi­nan­cial im­pli­ca­tions for UKJFF.

One source close to the ne­go­ti­a­tions be­hind the deal told the JC the the­atre ought­tounder­goape­ri­odof “re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion — how will the tri­cy­cle con­vince the Jewish­com­mu­ni­ty­it­wasagraveer­ro­rof judg­ment and they are not an­ti­semitic? The Tri­cy­cle got it wrong ev­ery step of the way. Maybe heads have to roll.

“They have mis­judged the mood. Peo­ple want to un­der­stand why they have made this new de­ci­sion. There was no apol­ogy.” He added that the po­si­tion of the artis­tic direc­tor, In­dhu Rubas­ing­ham, “was a prob­lem”.

Both par­ties re­fused to com­ment be­yond an agreed joint state­ment this week stat­ing: “Fol­low­ing lengthy dis­cus­sions, the Tri­cy­cle has now with­drawn its ob­jec­tion and in­vited back the UKJFF on the same terms as in pre­vi­ous years with no re­stric­tions on fund­ing from the em­bassy of Is­rael.

“We hope to be­gin the process of re­build­ing trust and con­fi­dence with a view to hold­ing events in the future.”

Wel­com­ing the state­ment, the Board of Deputies and Jewish Lead­er­ship Coun­cil to­gether said: “Al­though the orig­i­nal de­ci­sion taken by the Tri­cy­cle tore through the hearts of the wider Jewish com­mu­nity, we are greatly re­as­sured to see that di­a­logue has pre­vailed over di­vest­ment.”

The Tri­cy­cle’s U-turn did not pla­cate ev­ery­one. Ac­tress Mau­reen Lip­man said she did not be­lieve the fes­ti­val would ever be able to re­turn to the venue due to the level of hurt caused.

Tal Ofer, who had en­cour­aged Jewish Tri­cy­cle donors to with­draw their fund­ing, said: “The Tri­cy­cle has nei­ther apol­o­gised nor ac­cepted its po­si­tion was wrong. Some peo­ple are de­mand­ing that the artis­tic direc­tor should be sacked.”

PHO­TOS: DANIEL EASTERMAN

Is­rael sup­port­ers turn out in Brighton

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