Israel’s National Theater to Perform in West Bank Settlement

Kiryat Arba settlement in the West Bank. (Photo: via Mondoweiss)

Habima, Israel’s national theater, is set to go ahead with a planned performance in notorious West Bank settlement Kiryat Arba, despite calls for it to be cancelled.

The 7,000-strong settlement, located in occupied Hebron, has long been a source of tension and terror for Palestinians in the area.

Habima will perform in the settlement’s community center on November 10, and according to Haaretz, this would be first time Habima stages a production in Kiryat Arba. Habima will also perform the same play at West Bank settlement Ariel in March.

Haaretz noted that “in general, the country’s major repertory theaters Flag of Israel have performed wherever they have been invited, including in West Bank settlements, despite declarations by some artists that they will not perform there.”

Haim Weiss, a senior lecturer in Hebrew literature at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, attacked Habima’s planned performance at the Hebron settlement in two posts on Facebook.

In his first post, Weiss referred to the new Culture and Sports Ministry’s criteria for financial support, saying, “Cultural institutions that appear in the settlements receive a 10 percent bonus, while those that stay away see ministry support cut by about a third.”

In a second post, Weiss accused Habima of “conferring validity, significance and legitimization upon the settlement enterprise, especially its most extreme and violent representation.”


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