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Churchill would end the ‘cowed silence’ around Gaza slaughter

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Tony Kushner and Alisa Solomon begin their piece on “Seven Jewish Children” in the Nation the way all such pieces should begin, reciting the terrible numbers from the Gaza slaughter. Then:

There are passages, particularly in an ugly monologue near the
play’s conclusion, that are terribly painful to experience, especially
for Jews.

It’s difficult to imagine that the author didn’t intend to court
outrage, whether or not she anticipated its ferocity. This imputes
nothing to Churchill of the mischievous or sensationalistic. Her play’s
political ambitions are at least as important as its aesthetic
ambitions. Moreover, it would be disingenuous and, in a sense, a
betrayal of Seven Jewish Children to insist upon a calm, quiet
reading or hearing free from the voluble passions it has enflamed. The
fury that rises up around this conflict, and the cowed silence that is
that fury’s inevitable concomitant, are simultaneously the object and
subject of the play. It’s an incitement to speech and an examination of
silence; in its content and through its inevitably controversial
reception, it describes what can and cannot be said.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of Mondoweiss.net and founded the site in 2005-06.

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