DECADE OF ANGER

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS -

vice pres­i­dent of the Board of Deputies, ac­cused the the­atre of a lack of bal­ance.

She said: “While free artis­tic ex­pres­sion is im­por­tant, from the Young Vic’s re­cent out­put, the the­atre seems to be­lieve that this is only ap­pli­ca­ble to plays ex­press­ing the Pales­tinian nar­ra­tive.

“We are writ­ing to the Young Vic to ask why they have not put on any plays from an Is­raeli Jewish per­spec­tive in re­cent mem­ory, and to bring some of the best of it to Lon­don au­di­ences.

“We feel that they have a par­tic­u­lar re­spon­si­bil­ity to do so given their sig­nif­i­cant public fund­ing, and we will also be in con­tact with the Arts Coun­cil and the De­part­ment for Dig­i­tal, Cul­ture, Me­dia and Sport to call for public money to fund art for peace, and not for polemic.”

MY Name is Rachel Cor­rie is a play about a young woman of the same name who was struck and killed by an Is­raeli army bull­dozer in 2003 while at­tempt­ing to pre­vent a house de­mo­li­tion in the Gaza Strip.

Ac­cord­ing to the Is­rael De­fence Forces, the build­ings hid the en­trances to ter­ror tun­nels — the full ex­tent of which only be­came ap­par­ent dur­ing the 2014 Is­rael-Gaza war.

An Is­raeli court of law ruled that Ms Cor­rie’s death was ac­ci­den­tal, and that the driver of the bull­dozer had not seen her.

The play, which is based on Ms Cor­rie’s di­ary and emails, was put to­gether by Alan Rick­man, the late ac­tor, and Kather­ine Viner, now the ed­i­tor of the Guardian.

Ms Cor­rie was an ac­tivist for a proPales­tinian or­gan­i­sa­tion called the In­ter­na­tional Sol­i­dar­ity Move­ment (ISM).

Its vol­un­teers have been ac­cused of act­ing as hu­man shields for ter­ror­ists, as well as stay­ing in the homes of sui­cide bombers — who they have re­ferred to as “mar­tyrs” — in or­der to pre­vent de­mo­li­tion of the ter­ror­ists’ homes.

Set at the height of the Se­cond In­tifada, when Pales­tinian sui­cide bombers mur­dered Is­raelis on public trans­port and in restau­rants, My Name

makes no at­tempt to put Is­raeli ac­tions in this sort of con­text.

A re­view in 2005 re­ferred to the play’s “un­var­nished pro­pa­ganda… With no at­tempt made to set the vi­o­lence in con­text, we are left with the im­pres­sion of un­armed civil­ians be­ing crushed by face­less mil­i­tarists.

“Early on, Cor­rie makes a point of in­form­ing us that more Is­raelis have been killed in road ac­ci­dents than in all the coun­try’s wars put to­gether. As she jots down thoughts in her note­book and fires off emails to her par­ents, she de­clares that ‘the vast ma­jor­ity of Pales­tini­ans right now, as far as I can tell, are en­gag­ing in Gand­hian non-vi­o­lent re­sis­tance’.

“Even the late Yasser Arafat might have blushed at that one.”

The play has been staged in a num­ber of venues in the UK and across North Amer­ica, of­ten in the face of protests from lo­cal Jewish com­mu­ni­ties.

DANIEL SUGARMAN

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