DECADE OF ANGER
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.