Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Israeli Leftists, Israeli ‘art’ and Muslim comedians

Once upon a time (during the Spring-Summer of 2015), there was an Arab-language theatre in the coastal Israeli city of Haifa. This theatre employed actors for plays produced at the theatre. This theatre received money from the state of Israel, specifically from the Minister of Culture. This theatre wanted to produce a play about an Arab terrorist.

In the 1980s, this terrorist was part of a ‘Palestinian’ group that kidnapped an Israeli soldier who was hitch-hiking. According to news reports, these terrorists held the soldier captive for several days. They then murdered the soldier by mutilation, gouging out his eyes before cutting off parts of his body starting with his genitals and then shooting him (Eliran Aharon, “Leftists Protest 'Being Silenced' at Theater Award Ceremony”, Arutz Sheva, June 19, 2015). One of these terrorists apparently now serves a life sentence in an Israeli prison. The play is supposedly about his life in prison.

The playwright, who has an Arab-sounding name, wrote the paly because, he said, the terrorist subject of the play ‘inspired’ him (Judah Ari Gross, “Culture minister defunds Arab theatre hosting controversial play”, Times of Israel, June 16, 2015). Does that mean the play was ‘political’?

In Israel, almost everything associated with ‘Palestinians’ is political. Was that true here?

The family of the murdered soldier said, yes it was. They claimed the play glorified terror against Israel (ibid). They felt that such a play should not be supported by State of Israel funding (ibid).

The management of the theatre and the play’s director said, no. There was no glorification in the play (ibid). They said it’s just a fictionalized account of daily prison life for ‘Palestinians’ (ibid).

There are NGOs (Non-Government Organizations) in Israel which work very hard to report to the UN that Israel tortures ‘Palestinians’ in Israeli prisons. Any play about prison life for ‘Palestinians’ could therefore be very political, especially if anyone connected with the play thought of himself as ‘political’.

Somewhere near the beginning of this story, there were national elections in Israel. It pitted the political Left against the political Right. Campaigning got intense. Just before the election, Left-wing artists and playwrights gave speeches in which they depicted Right-wing voters as religious “amulet kissers” who bow down to the “graves of wise men” (Joshua Mitnick, “Culture War Erupts Over Arts Funding “, Jewish Week, June 27, 2015). The Leftist political party for whom these Leftist artists and playwrights were speaking lost the election. The Rightist Likud won.



After the election, a new Culture Minister was appointed. The woman appointed wasn‘t a Leftist. She was known to be a very strong Right-wing politician.

Oops, again.

Right-wing politicians in Israel do not usually support activities they consider to help, support or make stars of Israel’s enemies. They are strongly protective of Israel, which means that producing a play about a brutal Jew-killer wouldn’t normally be found on any of their top-ten to-do lists.

That’s why, somewhere in this story, the new Culture Minister chaffed at supporting what she felt was a ‘subversive work that delegitimized Israel’ (Times of Israel, ibid).

Leftists in Israel don’t like Right-wing politicians. Therefore, near the end of this story, artists, playwrights and others held an emergency meeting of ‘cultural leaders’, presumably to discuss the new Minister’s attitudes and statements. At that meeting, an Israeli actor got angry. He referred to Right-wing Likud voters as a herd of ‘beasts’ (ibid).

Didn’t he know the new Culture Minister is a member of the Rightist Likud party?

Apparently, this actor didn’t care. All he seemed to care about was that the ‘beasts’ were opposing ‘art’.

Somewhere else in this story, the Chairman of the Israel Arts and Culture Council spoke to the management of the theatre (ibid). The Chairman has since reported two items of interest. First, the theatre management could not or would not identify the sources of its funding. Second, the manager of the theatre told the Chairman that the theatre was, ‘political’ (ibid).


To the surprise of only the Leftists, this Chairman recommended that state funds to the theatre be cut off. There were too many ‘irregularities’, he said, in the theatre’s funding.

On June 16, 2015, the Rightist Likud Member/Culture Minister—one of the supposed ‘beasts’--froze the theatre’s funding. Not surprisingly, Leftists squealed. They claimed they were ‘being silenced’ (Arutz Sheva, ibid).

Meanwhile, another play got silenced, cancelled for being subversive. This play, however, wasn’t in Israel. It was in Ramallah, the capital city of the ‘Palestinian Authority’. It was cancelled because of the following scene:

Two members of the Islamic State kill two Muslims who in their opinion weren’t knowledgeable enough about religion. Then they argue about which of them gets to kill a Christian they had also captured, because the killing of a Christian gets you extra points on Judgment Day.

Meanwhile, the Christian has a heart attack. The two ISIS guys beg him to hold on until they can kill him, ‘after which you can go to hell’ (Oudeh Basharat, “No room for free speech for Israeli Arabs – and Israel isn't to blame”, Haaretz, May 18, 2015).  

That scene offended too many Muslims. They said, it showed contempt for religious leaders (ibid). Authorities in Ramallah cancelled the play.

All of this may explain why living in the Middle East is so dangerous: Muslims don’t understand comedy and Israeli Leftists don’t have a brain.

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