12 January, 2012
Dear Shakespeare’s Globe,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and inner conflicts with us. We are grateful that you have deliberated it sincerely and have raised a few questions. Let’s focus on those that you find tough:
Given that we have asked you to exclude
On July 6, 2004, the Palestinians issued a call for an academic and cultural boycott of Israel, asking artists like yourselves to refrain from any collaboration and any form of academic and cultural cooperation with Israeli institutions, because these institutions are complicit in maintaining the oppression of the Palestinian people even “through their silence”; Habima, was not even just silent. In violation of international law Habima performed in an illegal settlement in the
On July 9, 2005, the Palestinian Civil Society issued a call asking every single individual in the international community to help them by applying nonviolent measures - boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) - against Israeli institutions until Israel ends its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands, dismantles the Wall, recognizes the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality, and respects, protects, and promotes the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
Excluding Habima would be a small but vital step in this direction - your humble but necessary and courageous contribution to the liberation of the Palestinian people.
We can also relate to your wish to ensure that the festival “is truly an international event”. You highlight your “commitment to universality”. But commitment to universality must assume commitment to universal values. Languages, which you say are what you intend to celebrate, are not created or used in a void. Today in Israel/Palestine Hebrew is the language of the abuser of human rights. It is the language by means of which criminal oppression is exercised. Hebrew, our native language, is tainted by the policies of the Israeli government with which Habima cooperates expressly by performing in the
You have a chance, then, to raise your voice. You are obliged, by your moral standards, to try and disengage yourself from
You feel that “that people meeting and talking and exchanging views is preferable to isolation and silence”. This boils down to saying that adopting a business as usual attitude (given that
There are many voices expressing disapproval of
"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor" said Archbishop Desmund Tutu. We urge you to reconsider our appeal. Do not remain silent. Act and make a difference!
Members and supporters of
BOYCOTT! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within