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Ari Roth is fired by DC Jewish center — after staging Nakba play

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A huge story. Ari Roth has been fired as artistic director of the Jewish theater he built over 18 years at the Jewish Community Center in Washington. WHY? Because he staged a Nakba play, written by an Israeli. Because of free speech. McCarthyism is alive. The battle is on now inside the walls of the Jewish community.

Peter Marks in the Washington Post has the report on the firing:

Roth and [Carole] Zawatsky, who was hired [as ceo] by the JCC in 2011, clashed repeatedly over some of Roth’s programming choices, particularly as they concerned the Middle East. Earlier this year, Theater J’s world premiere of “The Admission,” a play by Israeli dramatist Motti Lerner about a purported massacre of Palestinian villagers in 1948 by Israeli soldiers, was downgraded by the center from a full production to a workshop. That occurred after a small local activist group’s campaign to stop the play asked donors to withhold funds from the JCC’s parent body.

The group, calling itself Citizens Opposed to Propaganda Masquerading as Art, launched a similar effort in protest of a Theater J offering in 2011, “Return to Haifa,” a play that featured Arab and Israeli actors. From the highly regarded Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv, Boaz Gaon’s drama — adapted from a novella by a spokesman for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, later assassinated — portrayed a Palestinian family returning to the home it had fled in 1948 that was occupied by Israeli Jews.

The latest and apparently final dispute was over the fate of Theater J’s Voices From a Changing Middle East Festival, an ongoing series of which “Return to Haifa” and “The Admission” were a part. Last month, the Jewish Daily Forward reported that the DCJCC was eliminating iterations of the festival. Roth said his commenting to the media after the article appeared was the reason given to support the charge of insubordination.

Theatre J is suddenly in a tailspin. It’s advertising for a new artistic director, but who would agree to go work for them? It’s like going to work for University of Illinois and Urbana Champaign, where your speech is also monitored by pro-Israel donors.

Roth will start his own company.

Roth said, he will move ahead quickly with plans to create a new group, to be called the Mosaic Theater Company, that will be based at the Atlas Performing Arts Center on H Street NE in Washington. The Voices From a Changing Middle East Festival is to be part of the new venture, Roth explained, adding that the new company would start up late next fall.

The news is rocking the Jewish artistic world. Writes the author David Harris-Gershon:

She [Zawatsky]  cancelled my DCJCC book event over my refusal to say that Palestinian use of BDS—nonviolent resistance—isn’t legitimate.

Another censorship is cited by Nicole Witte, the sister of the Shondes’ lead singer:

The @16thstreetj hired & then rudely fired @TheShondes this year. Band was to headline DCJCC Jewish music fest…

. told my little sister that her band couldn’t be on their stage even if they said nothing about BDS from that stage

Open Hillel asks:

Who will deem unacceptable next for not toeing (increasingly narrow/right-wing) line on Israel?

Max Blumenthal says, with a hat tip to Nicole Witte:

An assault on free speech – and speech supporting human rights – by NPR listening liberals in DC is far more disturbing than a threatened hack by a tinpot dictator’s foreign regime.

This is a huge moment. We keep hearing about the civil war between the settlers and Tel Aviv if Israel were ever forced to end the occupation. Israel is showing itself incapable of such a shift; but it is happening here. The Greater Israel crowd has control over Jewish institutions, and over the American mainstream debate about these issues. In its solidarity with Likud, it has destroyed the two-state solution. The New York Times’s latest piece trying to revive liberal Zionism felt like a piece of propaganda in the old Soviet Union; it shows that liberal Zionism is a collapsed idea in organized Jewish life. All the energy is on the right or in the burgeoning non-Zionist community, in Jewish Voice for Peace, in BDS, and in Open Hillel and IfNotNow. These idealists are the future inside Jewish life; and Ari Roth will surely join that coalition. J Street, which championed him before, is sure to deplore his firing; but J Street doesn’t have the community/spiritual energy to support Roth’s work meaningfully. For liberals there is no other game in town but the grassroots reexamination of Zionism, in which Roth participated, lending support along the way to David Zellnik’s wonderful play about Ariel Sharon’s dreams of Herzl.

Are you for free speech or donor-controlled speech? As John Mearsheimer said to me years ago, explain to me why the most liberal community in America is supporting apartheid. How did it happen? The access merchants destroyed the moral standing of the Jewish establishment, and the professionals smeared any dissidents in the name of Jewish Zionist solidarity. Intelligent young people will have nothing to do with those groups. The battle is on.Bringing the Debate to You
Mitchell Plitnick, formerly of JVP now of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, adds this, about the effect of McCarthyism on the Washington Jewish political scene:

I’ve spoken on numerous occasions with folks like Ari Roth, and I don’t think they’d need to do much nose-holding to go over to the JVP side of the debate in the Jewish community.A lot of them have come and are coming to view things very similarly to JVP. They may disagree on a few things, but those disagreements are far fewer than the ones they have with the so-called “pro-Israel” camp these days. It has long been clear that fear — and a justified fear, as we see here, with Ari being fired from a program that is successful almost entirely because of him — has been much more of a factor in people’s public treatment of JVP than any political, much less ideological, disagreements. That fear seems to be getting overwhelmed by anger over the McCarthyist tactics, slowly but surely. That will mean more support, and by extension, greater “kashrut,” for JVP in both the Jewish and general publics, but more importantly, it will open up the debate more broadly.

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82 Responses

  1. CloakAndDagger
    CloakAndDagger
    December 19, 2014, 11:05 am

    I am going to hold my breath and wait for coverage of this in the MSM or a public debate that includes non-jews. The color blue suits me.

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      December 20, 2014, 1:40 am

      You have to understand that for a large section of Jewry, Zionism is the only game in town. This is particularly true for older Jews. Bret Stephens said that if it wasn’t for Zionism, he would be completely assimilated. Ditto for Adelson. I imagine it’s the same for Dersh, Saban etc and other supposed liberals.

      I’m no fan of Beinart, but I think part of the reason why he can debate the BDS crowd without going nuts is precisely because although Zionism is an important part of his identity, it isn’t the overwhelming part. He himself has essentially said that, mocking his opponents by saying they are sending their kids to AIPAC instead to shul and then expect them to grow up Jewish.

      This has always been the case and it is often underreported; namely that for a large section of America’s ruling class, of which Jews are now part and parcel, the death of the 2SS would be a personal tragedy, because it would expose many of them as not liberals at all and that would create a personal crisis in many cases, because that’s how they view themselves, even if they’re not.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        Stephen Shenfield
        December 21, 2014, 3:49 pm

        Nothing wrong with crises, personal or otherwise. They are opportunities for growth. What cowardice to try to avoid them at the expense of others’ suffering!

  2. amigo
    amigo
    December 19, 2014, 11:29 am

    “Roth said his commenting to the media after the article appeared was the reason given to support the charge of insubordination”.

    Hmmm, what to do with these insubordinate self hating Jews and supporters of terrorism.

    Ban them from Synagogues for life.Revoke their Israeli Passports and deny them entry to Israel.Make them wear their Kippas inside out so Jews willing to support Apartheid will know who their enemies are.Boycott their work.Revoke any and all membership in Jewish Orgs.

    BDS==(Berate, Denegrate and Separate).

    Insubordinate traitors.

    • Pixel
      Pixel
      December 19, 2014, 6:49 pm

      “Make them wear their Kippas inside out …”

      Ha!

  3. Pretext
    Pretext
    December 19, 2014, 12:07 pm

    Perhaps the establishment should make them wear yellow stars.

  4. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    December 19, 2014, 12:08 pm

    In tepid defense of the Theater J people one must consider that they probably grew up hearing the Leon Uris version of history: the nobility and heroism of the brave Zionist fighters trying to save the remnant of the Jewish people after the whole world turned its back on them. Trying to carve out an itsy bitsy teeny weeny country on a desolate, depopulated strip of land…was that asking so much?

    I offer my own experiences as an example. I can recall being about 12 and hearing someone on the television saying the God had given that land to the Jews. I remember thinking “well, if God gave it to them then I guess it’s theirs.” I did not consider what that would mean to the natives because for me the “natives” did not exist. I never head about them, except when they were hijacking aircraft or shooting up places. And they did this, so I was told, because they were Arabs and Arabs did not like Jews. The nice Jews offered them a chance to build a new nation with them and they refused. It was that simple. It wasn’t until I got to college and I decided to educate myself on the issue that I learned about the Nakba and house demolitions and torture and collective punishment. Why hadn’t I heard about any of this before?

    I was able to unlearn the errors I was exposed to and maybe that was easier for me because technically speaking I did not have a “dog in the fight.” I imagine it would be more difficult for someone with a greater emotional connection, but that does not mean it should not be done.

    Zionist leadership is always more upset with discussions of past crimes then the crimes themselves.

    • Daniel Rich
      Daniel Rich
      December 19, 2014, 9:53 pm

      @abc,

      Q: And they did this, so I was told, because they were Arabs and Arabs did not like Jews.

      R: The question then arises, who told you this? For aren’t they, who withhold the truth, as guilty as those whom tell you self-propelled lies?

  5. Felice Gelman
    Felice Gelman
    December 19, 2014, 12:12 pm

    This looks like the establishment DC Jewish community’s biggest self-inflicted wound yet. An earlier round of attempted muzzling took place in 2007 when donor pressure was exerted to force the Contemporary American Theater Festival to cancel its production of My Name is Rachel Corrie. Despite a big withdrawal of donations, CATF refused to cave and staged the play. CATF is now celebrating its 25th anniversary. It looks like Theater J won’t have that opportunity — thanks to the JCC muzzle. Wishing Ari Roth great success in his new venture.

  6. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    December 19, 2014, 12:57 pm

    RE: “She [Zawatsky] cancelled my DCJCC book event over my refusal to say that Palestinian use of BDS—nonviolent resistance—isn’t legitimate.” ~ Harris-Gershon

    MCCARTHY ERA EQUIVALENT: Are you now or have you ever been . . .
    Senator McCarthy Claims Communist Infiltration (featuring young Roy Cohn) [VIDEO, 08:25] – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maLIXQLxvvA

    ON SECOND THOUGHT: Perhaps it is more akin to having been accused of heresy during the Spanish Inquisition (i.e. The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition).

    FROM WIKIPEDIA [Auto-da-fé]: An Inquisition usually began with the public proclamation of a grace period of 40 days. Anyone who was guilty or knew of someone who was guilty was urged to confess. Europe was using an old Germanic system that presumed guilt.[11] If the accused were charged they were presumed guilty.
    Monty Python – The Spanish Inquisition [VIDEO, 08:53] – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vt0Y39eMvpI

  7. JLewisDickerson
    JLewisDickerson
    December 19, 2014, 1:34 pm

    RE: “Ari Roth is fired by DC Jewish center — after staging Nakba play . . . Roth said his commenting to the media after the article appeared was the reason given to support the charge of insubordination.”

    A VERY LATE AUTUMN EVENING’S MUSICAL INTERLUDE, proudly brought to you by the purveyors of new Über-Xtreme Ziocaine™ Ultra CR (Controlled Release) Transdermal Patch: Let The Good Times Roll!

    Unfaithful servant
    I hear you leavin’ soon in the mornin’
    What did you do to the lady
    That she’s gonna have to send you away?

    Unfaithful servant
    You don’t have to say you’re sorry
    If you done it just for the spite
    Or did you do it just for the glory?

    Like a stranger you turned your back
    Left your keys and gone to pack
    Bear in mind who’s to blame an’ all the shame
    She really cared, the time she spared and the home you shared

    Unfaithful servant
    I can hear the whistle blowin’
    Yes, that train is comin’ and soon you’ll be goin’
    Let us not bow our heads for we won’t be complainin’

    Life has been good to us all even when that sky is rainin’
    To take it like a grain of salt is all I can do, it’s no one’s fault
    Makes no difference if we fade away
    It’s just as it was, it’s much too cold for me to stay . . . ~ The Band, 1969

    The Band, “The Unfaithful Servant” [VIDEO, 04:17] – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQnuYxNs3Pw

    P.S. IMPORTANT NOTICE: Always use new Über-Xtreme Ziocaine™ Ultra CR responsibly. Do not attempt to drive or operate heavy equipment until you know how new Über-Xtreme Ziocaine™ Ultra CR will affect you.

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    • Mooser
      Mooser
      December 19, 2014, 2:28 pm

      I love The Band.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        December 21, 2014, 6:42 pm

        I might point out that “Unfaithful Servant” ( Video 4:17) is not the only The Band song with Scriptural content. There’s “Daniel and the Sacred Harp”, “The Weight”, and “This Wheels On Fire” to name but three.

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson
        December 27, 2014, 5:36 am

        I agree. In particular, Rick Danko and the irascible Robbie Robertson were an unbeatable combination.

        Rick Danko – Unfaithful Servant [VIDEO, 02:25] – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evBXvbTx6nI

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson
        December 27, 2014, 5:36 am

  8. oldgeezer
    oldgeezer
    December 19, 2014, 1:55 pm

    It must be April Fools already.

    I mean, this can’t be true. I am constantly hearing about how there is plenty of room in the Jewish tent for discussion and opposing views.

    I guess differing views are fine provided you don’t express them or even acknowledge them in any way.

    And I’m still trying to figure out why it’s always a tent.

    • Pretext
      Pretext
      December 19, 2014, 6:54 pm

      You can have all the differing views you want in the tent, but you’re getting kicked out of the house!

    • annie
      annie
      December 19, 2014, 7:36 pm

      And I’m still trying to figure out why it’s always a tent.

      because the think tank hired by the israeli gov calls it a tent

      Policy Paper: Reut’s Broad Tent and Red-Lines Approach

      http://reut-institute.org/Publication.aspx?PublicationId=4042

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        December 19, 2014, 7:41 pm

        Those guys are smart. Tent does ring better than illegal facility constructed on stolen land.

      • annie
        annie
        December 19, 2014, 9:18 pm

        yeah, they also have the big tent campus campaign. what a farce, they call it big, they call it broad, but they real meaning is constriction.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      December 19, 2014, 9:50 pm

      When does the camel start poking its nose into the tent?

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      December 19, 2014, 9:54 pm

      “And I’m still trying to figure out why it’s always a tent.”

      Because tents are cold, draughty, uncomfortable, fall down or get blown away easily, and, these days, are mostly used by nutters who want to discard civilisation.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        December 21, 2014, 5:24 pm

        Well, I wouldn’t get too down on the tents themselves. Many revivals were held in tents. At the old campgrounds. And the anti- or non- Zionist Jewish revival which is starting to coalesce in the US will need places to meet, either for fellowship, study or services. until more permanent facilities are secured.

    • Xpat
      Xpat
      December 20, 2014, 7:41 am

      “And I’m still trying to figure out why it’s always a tent”

      Judaism prides itself on embracing debate. The Talmud is the foundational document of Judaism and its largest work. The overarching theme of the Talmud’s discussions is to affirm debate and honor dissenting opinion.
      The tent is an image associated with the Biblical patriarch Jacob (aka Israel) (Genesis 25:27) that the Talmud and contemporaneous rabbinic works re-imagine as the study hall . Rabbinic commentary also interprets Abraham’s tent (Genesis 18:1) as an icon of his hospitality and openness .
      So, the Jewish community;s “Big Tent” evokes for its proponents the openness of Jewish debate on Israel. It should be noted that the Bible contrasts pious Jacob’s “tent” to evil Esau’s hunt for wild game in the “field” .
      If you take yourself outside the tent, you are associating yourself with Israel’s mortal enemy, Esau.

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        December 20, 2014, 9:48 am

        Well, on a serious note, thank you Elliot. I did read the bible shortly after abandoning religion but it’s been over 40 years. Even if I remembered those passages that may not give me the interpretation within Juadism properly. Appreciated.

  9. In2u
    In2u
    December 19, 2014, 2:59 pm

    “And I’m still trying to figure out why it’s always a tent”

    A tent can be dismantled very easily.

    • Philip Munger
      Philip Munger
      December 20, 2014, 7:07 am

      LBJ once said, when asked why he kept someone in his administration who was openly critical of policy, “Better to have him inside the tent, pissing out, than outside the tent, pissing in.”

      The Zionists in Hillel, the performing arts, higher education, publishing and so on who keep on ostracizing, exiling and firing people of Ari Roth’s caliber are about to be deluged in the pissed off rain of many good people who didn’t deserve what has been dished out to them.

  10. DaBakr
    DaBakr
    December 19, 2014, 4:15 pm

    if I have this right…the author, PW should be happy that a play written by an Israeli is being effectively boycotted as I thought BDS supports boycotting Israeli artists, even when they may be politically left. Or does bds want to pick and choose? Either way-there is certainly little tolerance for other people using boycott techniques. Again, the hypocrisy-on both sides- just keeps on dripping into rivers

    • annie
      annie
      December 19, 2014, 7:34 pm

      BDS supports boycotting Israeli artists

      ha! we could say it a thousand times and you hear what you want to hear. individual artists are not boycotted.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        December 19, 2014, 10:33 pm

        your right, I must be thick because that statement makes no logical sense whatsoever

      • annie
        annie
        December 20, 2014, 1:20 am

        that statement makes no logical sense whatsoever

        sure it does. the arts, as well as many other things, are funded by the state in israel and also promoted by the foreign ministry as outreach and other things. therefore, when the state of israel is funding a ballet company on a world tour, those artists are not working as independent actors, the are supporting the state of israel. whereas, if a person such as myself (i am an artists) gets a show in a foreign country, gets my work in a gallery in london for example, and travels there for the opening and makes arrangements to get my work there and the US government doesn’t fund my expenses (like most artists in the US we are not funded by the state) then i am an independent artists. and if an israeli artists did the same thing, not thru the state or a state institution (like tel aviv university which is heavily complicit in the occupation) they would not be targetted by the bds campaign. it’s really not that complicated. in fact, phil just interviewed an israeli filmaker last week (or the week before) and linked to his crowdfunding campaign to finish his film. he is working independently from the state institution as are many israelis who are participating in the film.

        n.o.t. t.h.a.t. c.o.m.p.l.i.c.a.t.e.d.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        December 19, 2014, 10:43 pm

        you can say what you will about bds and who is “not boycotted”. the only people who believe that are already in or support bds. anybody who reads Barghoutis bds manifesto can make up their own mind.

        I would be willing to wager quite a bit that were the entire world willing to bds Israel and Israelis into some kind of submission which they believe represents so-called ‘international’ justice the folks here would be jumping for joy.

      • annie
        annie
        December 20, 2014, 1:07 am

        wagering quite a bit anonymously over the internet has no meaning.

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        December 21, 2014, 2:45 pm

        @Ziotroll

        Zionists are boycotting a play about a historical event – the Nakba.

        BDS boycotts the normalization of the occupation, profiting off of the occupation, and other crimes against the Palestinian people.

        So there is no parallel.

        You are making a superficial comparison.

        Only idiots in your cult agree with you.

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        December 21, 2014, 10:29 pm

        @clf

        right cliff. only when Zionists make comparisons are they stupid and “idiots”. BDS and anti-Zionist folks NEVR make idiotic analogies or comparisons. And of course they never pick up when a comparison is facetious either

      • eljay
        eljay
        December 22, 2014, 10:57 am

        >> DaBakreee: I would be willing to wager quite a bit that were the entire world willing to bds Israel and Israelis into some kind of submission which they believe represents so-called ‘international’ justice the folks here would be jumping for joy.

        All the rapist wants to do is to continue to self-(self-)determine himself in his victim.

        But these mean, nasty people who believe in justice, accountability and equality keep insisting that he release his victim and be held accountable for his past and on-going crimes.

        Aggressor-victimhood is a very tough gig! :-(

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        December 22, 2014, 12:14 pm

        “BDS and anti-Zionist folks NEVR make idiotic analogies or comparisons.”

        Would you like to tell us what the proper, intelligent “analogies or comparisons” are for the Nakba? You being such a disinterested and objective person and all.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      December 19, 2014, 9:20 pm

      “Either way-there is certainly little tolerance for other people using boycott techniques.”

      So, summary firing (Roth) and withdrawal of tenure and employment, (Saliata) are the “boycott techniques” endorsed and used by BDS? Would you like to show us where BDS endorses summary firings and administrative unilateralism?

      “Boycott techniques”, forsooth! I would go so far as to say “Bah, what nonsense” and in a very contemptuous tone, too!

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        December 19, 2014, 10:38 pm

        @msr
        your statement makes little sense as well. either your for bds and punishing Israel (which means Israelis) or your for some weak, limp, semi-boycott which does little damage and has little effect at all. which is it funny man?

      • talknic
        talknic
        December 20, 2014, 8:17 am

        @ DaBakr ” either your for bds and punishing Israel “

        Lemme see now, by your criteria being asked to adhere to the legal speed limit is punishment….

        You really do come out with some very strange theories a lot of bullsh*t!

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        December 20, 2014, 11:37 am

        “You really do come out with some very strange theories a lot of bullsh*t!”

        It’s all the trauma, discrimination and oppression.

        When you’ve really suffered, you learn that equality and egalitarianism and rule of law just won’t do! And as a tiny minority, you realize that impunity and immunity and superiority are your due!

  11. Mooser
    Mooser
    December 19, 2014, 7:07 pm

    Ms. Zawatsky has figured in the pages of Mondo previously.
    She seems to like throwing her administrative weight around. And she seems to be on a mission.

    She has a Twitter account, but hasn’t tweeted yet.

    • annie
      annie
      December 19, 2014, 7:30 pm

      mooser, from your link, my bold:

      In Haaretz last week, Harris-Gershon writes about the damage that the JCC is doing to the Jewish community:

      If someone like me should be placed outside the Jewish communal tent, consider the hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of liberal or progressive Jews who would similarly be exiled, since they too would be standing “outside the bounds of legitimate discourse.”

      – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/02/washington-denouncing-censorship#sthash.B3XjLd0H.dpuf

      the reference to the tent reminds of of the reut tent, where they draw the red lines of discourse and set the rules. and then from the top down they enforce the rules. but there are very few people at the top making those decisions. all they need is bulldogs at the head of these orgs to act as the enforcers. and Zawatsky is the enforcer at jcc-dc. and they will get a new manager who will follow the directions or else he/she will get the hatchet!

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        December 19, 2014, 9:06 pm

        “but there are very few people at the top making those decisions. all they need is bulldogs at the head of these orgs to act as the enforcers. and Zawatsky is the enforcer at jcc-dc. and they will get a new manager who will follow the directions or else he/she will get the hatchet!”

        Annie, that’s what I keep on saying!
        Judaism these days is a job for leaders, professionals, specialists! Ordinary congregants, followers (boo!) are in the way, tend to be undisciplined, make too many compromises because they have to live in the world, and out marry at 70%(!!!). And then they simply can’t keep a stiff upper nose held over Gaza and the Palestinians. They are more trouble, at this point, then they are worth.
        It is a more efficient system, if you have just your leaders, and your donors, and Israel, who needs anything more? A congregation is just a burden, and draws resources away from the core mission.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        December 19, 2014, 9:10 pm

        .” and they will get a new manager who will follow the directions or else he/she will get the hatchet!”

        What a vibrant, challenging theater culture will ensue!
        I can see the programs now:

        ‘We welcome our patrons of the JCC Theatre to this year’s staging of “Fiddler on the Roof”. It’s our best “Fiddler” ever!’

  12. Stephen Shenfield
    Stephen Shenfield
    December 19, 2014, 7:19 pm

    Why does Peter Marks in the article quoted from the Washington Post refer to the author of “Return to Haifa” only as “a spokesman for the PFLP” without giving his name — as though the only thing about him that matters is his political affiliation? Don’t Palestinians, even celebrated writers who are Palestinians, have names? Isn’t that a form of dehumanization?

    His name was Ghassan Kanafani.

    • pgtl10
      pgtl10
      December 19, 2014, 10:48 pm

      The Washington Post is very Zionist. More so than the NY Times.

  13. Nevada Ned
    Nevada Ned
    December 19, 2014, 7:46 pm

    Art Roth will have his own theater company up and running by next fall. He can drum up attendance with an advertising campaign, with the tag line.

    “The Theater that the Jewish Establishment Does Not Want You to See!!!”

    Roth can turn this battle into a play, giving his side of the story. And the play can be entitled

    THE GRIPES OF ROTH

    • DaBakr
      DaBakr
      December 19, 2014, 10:47 pm

      @nevN

      More likely: The Wrath of Roth

      • a blah chick
        a blah chick
        December 20, 2014, 10:14 am

        That’s actually pretty funny.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      December 19, 2014, 11:46 pm

      “Roth can turn this battle into a play,”

      Yes, but not every play is perfect at first draft. It may need some polishing, which would be, of course…’waxing Roth’.

      Hey, my right-to-humor-life principles are strong. It’s not a choice, it’s a joke.

  14. pgtl10
    pgtl10
    December 19, 2014, 9:57 pm

    Theater J’s world premiere of “The Admission,” a play by Israeli dramatist Motti Lerner about a purported massacre of Palestinian villagers in 1948 by Israeli soldier

    _______________________________________________________________________________

    Anybody else notice the Washington Pot used the word “purported” essentially saying there was no massacre?

    People talk about the NY Times but I think the Post is far more Zionist.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      December 20, 2014, 11:30 am

      “Anybody else notice the Washington Pot used…”

      Is that a typo? Or a bud libel?

      • Cliff
        Cliff
        December 20, 2014, 3:01 pm

        LOL

        I love you Mooser

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        December 21, 2014, 5:14 pm

        “LOL”

        Thanks so much and I send my love and best holiday wishes to you and your family, Cliff.

        (I just wanted to wait a bit until the thread quieted down on the topic before responding to your generous greeting.)

  15. Marnie
    Marnie
    December 20, 2014, 4:20 am

    It appears that the US has turned into the United States of Israel. I can’t begin to imagine the power, real or imagined, of some people who can pick up a phone and completely fuck up someone’s life because they had the temerity to express the truth. This is a very depressing black hole that truth and personal freedom are disappearing into. I’m happy Ari Roth is going to open his own theater, it’s what he was meant to do all along. Best wishes for great success!

    “…most men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution.”
    ― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      December 21, 2014, 5:41 pm

      I never dreamed I would live to see the lines being drawn this plainly. The demand for servitude (to Zionist ideology), as well as support. And it is Zionism itself which is demanding this demarcation, as if they have anything to gain from it!

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye
        December 21, 2014, 6:07 pm

        Smile, Mooser!
        Take a look at this website (and its video):
        http://medinatweimar.org/

        Reminded me of an old comedy, “Passport to Pimlico” (though it’s just a daft idea at the moment).

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        December 21, 2014, 6:37 pm

        I loved this bit.

        “Medinat Weimar believes peoples maintain not only the rights of self-determination and self-definition, but self-redetermination and self-redefinition as well.”

        What about self-(self!) determination?

        The accompanying essay “No liberty without identity” is great, too.

        The Ealing scriptwriters for “Passport to Pimlico” could not have done a better parody.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        December 22, 2014, 12:23 pm

        Of course! A Jewish State in Thuringia! Ah, Thuringia! The very name of “Thuringia” evokes the name of Thuringia, and the name Thuringia immediately conjures up visions of, well, Thuringia.
        A man would have to be a freaking churl to deny it!

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        December 22, 2014, 6:17 pm

        I’m sure the very name of Thuringia would appeal to Offenbach or Sigmund Romberg.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        December 22, 2014, 10:05 pm

        I’m sure the very name of Thuringia would appeal to Offenbach or Sigmund Romberg.”

        It’s the kind of place-name that, when set to music, veritably waxes lyrical evoking such titles as “Carry Me Back to Old Thuringia”, or “My Old Thuringia Home” or “I’m from Big T, My oh Yes” or , most poignant of all, the anthem, “Oh Thuringia”.

  16. CigarGod
    CigarGod
    December 20, 2014, 9:30 am

    Thanks, phil…you just gave me my next “street talk” question:

    “What is the difference between – free speech – and – donor controlled speech -?”

  17. Mayhem
    Mayhem
    December 21, 2014, 5:06 pm

    Jews are supposed to be free to go about undermining Israel in the name of free speech while nobody gives a rats arse about the tactics of the pro-Palestinian camp? It seems like MW is quite willing to support anything that slams Israel, but with true hypocrisy is totally blind to the other side which is much much worse in its behavior.

    Should Jews be permitted to put on theatre that extols the efforts of the Nazis in exterminating Jews? Where’s the limit? Isn’t it about time that Jews who support Israel don’t give free licence to Jews who think it is OK to help the efforts of the enemy? This is not a free speech issue per se but an issue of not committing treasonable activities – not doing things to unnecessarily endanger or damage the position of Israel in the eyes of the world. There are plenty of other people doing this – so why lend them assistance?

    Palestinian journalists are repeatedly arrested in the West Bank and Gaza Strip for reportedly criticizing the policies and leaders of the PA and Hamas. This regular assault on freedom  of expression does not seem to bother the Western countries that fund the PA, or Hamas supporters from all around the world or Mondoweiss.

    “During the peace talks, the director-general of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group criticized his own government, declaring, “There is no freedom of expression in our areas.” A Palestinian blogger was arrested by the PA for starting a Facebook campaign called “The People Want an End to Corruption.” A West Bank university lecturer was arrested for criticizing Mahmoud Abbas on Facebook. The former information minister was shot after calling for reforms in the PA. This bullying and intimidation is intended to deepen the frustration and hatred in Palestinian consciousness and provoke hostility toward the Jewish people.”

    • annie
      annie
      December 21, 2014, 5:28 pm

      mayhem, israel has a history of jailing and killing palestinian journos and photojournos so i am wondering why you ignored that? did you read Israel Arrests 8 Palestinians For Facebook Posts? http://www.imemc.org/article/70077 http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/12/16/israel-arrests-8-palestinian-israelis-for-facebook-status-updates/

      Eight Palestinian citizens of Israel were arrested Monday on charges of inciting anti-Jewish violence through their online postings, in a move by the Jewish State to criminalize all dissent.

      A police spokesman said the residents of occupied east Jerusalem were charged with “inciting hatred, violence and terrorism” against Jews and Israeli security forces, by posting criticisms on Facebook.
      ……
      In November, Mahmoud Asila was arrested for posting a picture on Facebook that claimed he was in support of the attacks carried out by the Palestinians against the Israeli forces occurring in the West Bank. The problem for Israel, is that as the West Bank is illegally occupied, the Fourth Geneva Convention asserts the same right of the Palestinian citizens to armed resistance against occupying forces. Israel is therefore not only in breach of International Law by illegally occupying the land of the West Bank, but is now jailing those who express views in accordance with International Law.

      Should Jews be permitted to put on theatre that extols the efforts of the Nazis in exterminating Jews? Where’s the limit?

      i’m curious why you are choosing to come up with this hypothetical scenario? this is the US, not israel and not a place under military occupation. and rather than your fabricated example, the counter scenario of a play about the history of the nakba, even fictionalized, would be (a play about the history of the holocaust, and) the opposite of your fabrication. it would be “Should Jews be permitted to put on theatre that exposes the efforts of the Nazis in exterminating Jews?” for clearly no one is extolling the efforts to slaughter and ethnically cleanse palestinians in this play. are you advocating american theatre should stay away from history of the nakba (or the holocaust) because it offends some? would you say the same thing about a play about wounded knee?

      we shouldn’t be using the israeli governments standards for free speech or artistic freedom.

    • eljay
      eljay
      December 21, 2014, 5:44 pm

      >> Mayhemeee: Jews are supposed to be free to go about undermining Israel in the name of free speech while nobody gives a rats arse about the tactics of the pro-Palestinian camp? … Palestinian journalists are repeatedly arrested in the West Bank and Gaza Strip for reportedly criticizing the policies and leaders of the PA and Hamas.

      What is it about Zio-supremacists that renders them unable* to comprehend the simple fact that acts of injustice and immorality committed by others do not justify their, their co-collectivists’ and/or their supremacist “Jewish State’s” past and on-going acts of injustice and immorality?

      The rapist’s actions are not justifiable simply because murderers exist in society.

      (*I hate to think that they are so utterly devoid of any sense of morality that they are able to comprehend but, just the same, purposely choose wrong over right.)

      • oldgeezer
        oldgeezer
        December 22, 2014, 12:10 am

        “*I hate to think that they are so utterly devoid of any sense of morality that they are able to comprehend but, just the same, purposely choose wrong over right. ”

        I think you are close. They know they are morally wrong but are so driven by their focus on selfish needs that they grasp for straws to justify behaviour that they know is unjustifiable.

        I hope I’m not wrong. I can deal with a few million greedy morally deficient people a lot easier than I can with a few million truly vile people.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        December 22, 2014, 12:58 am

        Oldgeezer
        Most Israelis are badly led rather than vile. It is psychologically almost impossible for them to admit thatbthe last almost 50 years were wasted, that they were lied to 24/7, that the idf did unspeakable things etc so they just try to forget it and hope there are never any reparations. Chosenness is diaspora glue that looks very naive when jews have real power and show they are as lost as everyone else.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      December 21, 2014, 5:50 pm

      ” Isn’t it about time that Jews who support Israel don’t give free licence to Jews who think it is OK to help the efforts of the enemy?”

      Gee, I don’t remember any vote, any Jewish plebiscite which determined just how Jews are expected to express their feelings about Israel, how they express their support of Israel or how they criticize it? You are against American Jews trying to make Israel a better place, or even understand its history? What is it you are trying to hide? Would you like to cite Mr. Roth’s anti-zionist statements? He seems to care more about the real Israel than you do, frankly.

      And that “efforts of the enemy” was exceptionally dumb, even for you.

    • lysias
      lysias
      December 21, 2014, 6:08 pm

      For American Jews to do something that Israeli Jews and their supporters in America don’t like is “treasonable”? Isn’t their country the United States? How is it treason? Aren’t you confirming all the accusations about dual loyalty?

    • Walid
      Walid
      December 21, 2014, 9:04 pm

      Mayhem, FWIW, I agree with you but most probably not for your reasons. If a very pro-Israel Washington theater decides it doesn’t want to put on a play that it believes is detrimental to its Israel vocation, it should be in its full right to not put it on in the same way an Arab theatre somewhere in the US would be in in its right to decide not to put on a pro-Israel play. After all, the place is called the “Jewish Community Center” and not the “Jewish-Arab Center. Now Roth is setting up his own theater and he can put up whatever he likes in it and if anyone tries to prevent him from doing so, that was would be tinkering with free speech. This has nothing to do with who is or isn’t the enemy, as you are saying. Another thing that I agree with you on is that, Israel’s laundry is the only one that gets discussed.

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      December 22, 2014, 12:47 am

      @Mayhem

      Ah you take the cake. You really do.

      “but with true hypocrisy is totally blind to the other side which is much much worse in its behavior”

      Is it? How many families have the other side wiped out with a single strike? There have been some and it’s reprehensible for either side. Do you want to compare the counts? Is it much worse to explode a bomb in a pizza parlour than to drop a one tonne bomb on an apartment building? Maybe it is but I would need you to explain why.

      “Should Jews be permitted to put on theatre that extols the efforts of the Nazis in exterminating Jews? Where’s the limit?”

      I don’t know. You tell us? Do you believe in free speech or not? What are your limits? I actually believe in the concept of hate speech and so I don’t fully support the US concept of free speech. You’ve asked the question so it’s only fair you state your limits in terms that cut both ways.

      “Palestinian journalists are repeatedly arrested in the West Bank and Gaza Strip for reportedly criticizing the policies and leaders of the PA and Hamas. ”

      This is risible. The OT is amongst the most dangerous places for a journalist to operate. Reporting from Israel is subject to military censorship. The vast majority of journalist casualties are those who have been targetted by the Israeli terrorist forces. The latest having happened within the past week.

      “This bullying and intimidation is intended to deepen the frustration and hatred in Palestinian consciousness and provoke hostility toward the Jewish people.”

      Oh yes, certainly. Stealing their house, orchards, land and putting them on a diet, killing their children, torturing their children has nothing to do with their hatred of Israelis. And to the extent that they hate Jews has nothing to do with Israel’s attempt to equate the two.

  18. OyVey00
    OyVey00
    December 21, 2014, 11:38 pm

    You say that you’re for free speech, but are you really? Would you also defend French comedian Dieudonne from being sacked for staging a Holocaust satire? Excuse me if I have my doubts.

    I’ve said it before, but it strikes me that apparently most people who say they are for free speech are only willing to grant this right to viewpoints they personally approve of. Both pro- and anti-zionists.

    • annie
      annie
      December 22, 2014, 1:19 am

      Would you also defend French comedian Dieudonne from being sacked for staging a Holocaust satire? Excuse me if I have my doubts.

      what’s with all the whataboutery oyvey? are you trying to make an analogous argument between staging a nakba play vs a holocaust satire?

      • OyVey00
        OyVey00
        December 22, 2014, 2:59 am

        This is exactly what I’m talking about. You are differentiating between “good speech” which is allowed, and “bad speech” which is not allowed, based on what you believe is right and wrong. Free speech does not make this kind of moral judgment, but explicitly allows ALL kinds of speech.

        Without free speech, what you may say and what not would be dictated by the people in power based on their own morals (or pragmatic interests). In fact – as you can see – this is already happening in America and uncomfortable opinions such as anti-zionism are regularly silenced. This is exactly what the concept of free speech was supposed to prevent.

        Free speech with a limit is not free speech at all, it is speech controlled by the people in power who decide what exactly this limit is.

        So please, stop talking about free speech when you actually just mean you want to be able to say what you want without granting this right to people you disagree with.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        December 22, 2014, 10:08 pm

        “Free speech does not make this kind of moral judgment, but explicitly allows ALL kinds of speech.”

        And that’s why everybody is so het-up about Roth being fired. I’m glad you get it.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        December 22, 2014, 10:11 pm

        “So please, stop talking about free speech when you actually just mean you want to be able to say what you want without granting this right to people you disagree with.”

        Because Zionism has no outlet, being silenced by the power of anti-zionism?

        And next we will hear that the voices of Zionism are the real heroes, willing to espouse an unpopular position in the face of the powers-that-be, and therefore worthy of the inalienable free-speech-protection of having their opponents silenced!! Roth was fired , well, I guess you could call it ‘free-speech affirmative’ action, to make way for the silenced, oppressed minority, willing to speak out in support of Israel, and of course, never lose sight of the greatest freedom of speech of all; the freedom to speak as your boss directs.!

  19. Mooser
    Mooser
    December 22, 2014, 10:27 am

    Why don’t they take a good sniff, and look at the bottoms of their shoes, before they post? Don’t they know when they’ve stepped right in it?

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