West Bank Settlement Celebrates Opening of Controversial Cultural Center

Knesset speaker calls inauguration of the Kiryat Arba cultural center a "political and Zionist response" to the pressures of the international community on Israel.

The West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba celebrated the inauguration of its brand new cultural center Monday night with live performances and speeches by several high-profile politicians.

During the evening, Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) gave a speech to a full house, stating that Jews are “no strangers in their homeland” and that the inauguration of the new cultural center is a “political and Zionist response” to the pressures of the international community on Israel.

auditorium in Kiryat Arba - Tomer Appelbaum - 12092011
Tomer Appelbaum

The opening of the center has faced harsh criticism from several high profile actors including Rami Baruch, who has openly refused to perform in Kiryat Arba.

However, during the festive event there was very little talk of the artists who have decided to boycott the cultural center. One member of the Kiryat Arba council stated that the organizers would not “grovel before any traitor from the state of Tel Aviv” who refuses to perform.