Theater Figures Urge Be'er Sheva Actors to Boycott West Bank Arts Center

Be'er Sheva theater scheduled to perform in center on its opening night this week; letter says Israel's policy in occupied territories resembles 'apartheid nation.'

Dozens of theater figures boycotting the new Ariel cultural center sent Friday a letter to Be'er Sheva Theater actors urging them to join their battle and boycott the newly built arts center in the West Bank settlement.

boycott - Moti Milrod - Sept 3 2010
Moti Milrod

"No one can force you to perform there," the prominent cultural figures wrote.
In September a group of theater actors and public figures signed a petition saying they would not perform in the new Ariel center as a protest of Israel's settlement policies. The protest was supported by over 150 academics.

The Be'er Sheva theatre company is scheduled to perform in Ariel on the cultural center's opening night this week.

"Ariel is not just another community," the letter said, stressing that the actors were about to perform in the cultural center that was erected in Ariel on occupied land. "just several kilometers from the thriving and flourishing Ariel, Palestinians live in refugee camps, in harsh living conditions and without any basic human right. Not only are they not entitled to see performances in Ariel, some of them have no access to running water."

The letter added that the two contrasting realities of Ariel and the Palestinian refugees constituted "an apartheid nation."

Among the signatories of the current letter to the Be'er Sheva Theater are several prominent theater and culture figures such as film director Eitan Fux, artist and critic Yair Garbuz, television director and activists Doron Tzabari, theatre director Yehoshua Sobol and others.