Subscribe to Jewish Peace News. Defense of German Critic, Halper in Australia, Seven Jewish Children–A Play for Gaza

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Jewish Peace Activists Defend German Critic of Israel

More than 370 Jewish peace activists from around the world signed a statement defending German politician Hermann Dierkes against charges of anti-Semitism.

Dierkes, a left-wing politician with a distinguished record of fighting for social justice, called for a boycott of Israeli goods as a means of putting pressure on the Israeli government to end its oppression of Palestinians. For this he has been subjected to vicious denunciations for anti-Semitism.

Jeff Halper: An unhelpful discourse on Israel / Middle East News Service

JPN picked this up from Antony Lowenstein. It is Jeff Halper’s unpublished op-ed on getting censored during a trip to Australia. As JPN’s Racheli Gai writes:

“The following article was written by Israeli/American peace activist Jeff Halper for the Australian Jewish News. The paper refused to run the piece, despite spending weeks attacking Halper and his supporters in its pages.
The type of dynamics Halper describes in the essay, where organized Australian Jewry comes to the “rescue” of an idealized Israel – an “Israel” which has nothing to do with Israel as a real country, doesn’t seem unique to Australia. It’s certainly the case in the US, and I suspect in other countries as well, that the Jewish diaspora latches on to an imaginary Israel for its own needs, even while Israel puts Jewish diaspora to its own
unholy uses.”

Seven Jewish Children–A Play for Gaza

As JPN’s Rebecca Vilkomerson wrote, “Caryl Churchill, a renowned British playwright and feminist, wrote a short play called: Seven Jewish Children–A Play for Gaza. It premiered in London in February and in New York on March 16th, in an event marking the anniversary of Rachel Corrie’s death. It was produced at the New York Theatre Workshop, which was the center of a controversy three years ago when it backed off from its decision to produce the play “My Name is Rachel Corrie.”

The entire text of the play has been printed by the Guardian newspaper , and has been reproduced below. Churchill is giving away free rights to produce the show as long as a collection is made for medical relief in Gaza.

For more context and analysis of the play, Tony Kushner and Alissa Solomon, who also presided over one of the readings and subsequent discussions in New York, have a piece well worth the read in the Nation here: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090413/kushner_solomon/3

But if you only have a few minutes, just read the play itself.

I’ve read it three times (it only takes about five minutes), and each time it has brought me to tears. As someone living in Tel Aviv, raising two daughters, struggling with when and how and what to tell them–I found it devastating and true.”

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