David Rovics a long time supporter of Palestine, performs in Nablus
Play his song 'Jenin'
Dedicated to Ending the Occupation
Today, the promotion of the play ?Seven Jewish Children? had its first airing on Neil Mitchell?s hard-hitting ?Mornings? program on 3AW.
The radio ad was written by Australians for Palestine with the opening bars from Fairouz?s album ?Rajioun? about the Palestinian catastrophe al Nakba in the background. But, it is Miriam Margolis who brings the words to life with her full-bodied, passionate voice that promises the same for the play on Monday 18 May, 6.30pm at the State Library.
Listen to the radio ad.
Miriam had no problem in defending her decision to take part in the play. In one word, she summed up her feelings when asked in an interview for The Age about the play being anti-Semitic – ?Bollocks?! The article featured on page 5 of The Age today.
Also below, is an article by former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration Paul Craig Roberts, about America?s moves to criminalise criticism of Israel. That in itself only shows how much Zionists fear the truth of their criminal acts finally being realised by a public long held enthralled by the myths of Israel?s ?heroic? beginnings.
– SK Australians for Palestine
‘Bollocks’: Jewish actor defends contentious play
by Karl Quinn
The Age 8 May 2009
A PLAY that has been condemned by Jewish groups and some theatre critics as anti-Semitic will this month be performed at the State Library of Victoria.
The cast of the eight-minute Seven Jewish Children, by English playwright Caryl Churchill, includes Sydney-based Anglo-Jewish actor Miriam Margolyes and Max Gillies, husband of high-profile Melbourne Jewish identity Louise Adler.
It will be presented in a rehearsed reading on Monday, May 18, at 6.30pm by the lobby group Australians for Palestine.
The play has garnered praise from theatre critics in Britain, but was condemned by Christopher Hart in The Sunday Times (“ludicrous”) and the Spectator’s Melanie Phillips (“an open vilification of the Jewish people ? sickening and dreadful beyond measure”).
Even before the play has had its Australian debut, that response has been echoed in Melbourne.
Jeremy Jones, of the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council, said he had not read the play but was well aware of it. “Most of the people who you would take seriously on the question of racial vilification have labelled it anti-Semitic,” he said.
“At the very least it is something that so greatly distorts the subject that it does the exact opposite of what great art does, which is to shed light on a topic.” According to Dr Danny Lamm, president of the Zionist Council of Victoria, the play portrays “the complete antithesis of Israel”.
“This play is simply another propaganda attempt to delegitimise the Jewish nation and to perpetuate the same lies that are continually played out in the media.”
Seven Jewish Children consists of seven short movements about crucial stages in the history of Israel: the Holocaust, the aftermath of war, the settlement of Israel in 1948, the displacement of the Arabs, the Six-Day War, the Intifada and the war in Gaza, which began in December 2008. The play unfolds in highly poetic form, with pairs of adults debating how to tell a child about the world. A typical exchange: “Tell her they want to drive us into the sea/Tell her they don’t/Tell her they want to drive us into the sea./Tell her we kill far more of them/Don’t tell her that.”
Caryl Churchill wrote the work in January, during the war in Gaza. The text is freely available at royalcourttheatre.com.
The local production was born about three weeks ago when Moammar Mashni, of Australians for Palestine met Margolyes in Melbourne. They decided to do a one-off reading.
Margolyes describes herself as an activist and visited Gaza with the UN 12 years ago. Yesterday she defended her part in the production. “I think it’s very important that Jewish people who think as I do? should say, ‘Look, we’re Jews, and we want Israel to survive, but not like this, not by killing other people.’ ” And what of the charges of anti-Semitism? “That’s bollocks.”
Gillies also railed against charges of anti-Semitism: “That criticism is wilful misinterpretation of the piece,” he said.
Criminalizing Criticism of Israel
The End of Free Speech?
by Paul Craig Roberts
CounterPunch 7 May 2009
On October 16, 2004, President George W. Bush signed the Israel Lobby?s bill, the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act. This legislation requires the US Department of State to monitor anti-semitism world wide.
To monitor anti-semitism, it has to be defined. What is the definition? Basically, as defined by the Israel Lobby and Abe Foxman, it boils down to any criticism of Israel or Jews.
Rahm Israel Emanuel hasn?t been mopping floors at the White House. As soon as he gets the Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 passed, it will become a crime for any American to tell the truth about Israel?s treatment of Palestinians and theft of their lands.
It will be a crime for Christians to acknowledge the New Testament?s account of Jews demanding the crucifixion of Jesus.
It will be a crime to report the extraordinary influence of the Israel Lobby on the White House and Congress, such as the AIPAC-written resolutions praising Israel for its war crimes against the Palestinians in Gaza that were endorsed by 100 per cent of the US Senate and 99 per cent of the House of Representatives, while the rest of the world condemned Israel for its barbarity.
It will be a crime to doubt the Holocaust.
It will become a crime to note the disproportionate representation of Jews in the media, finance, and foreign policy.
In other words, it means the end of free speech, free inquiry, and the First Amendment to the Constitution. Any facts or truths that cast aspersion upon Israel will simply be banned.
Given the hubris of the US government, which leads Washington to apply US law to every country and organization, what will happen to the International Red Cross, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, and the various human rights organizations that have demanded investigations of Israel?s military assault on Gaza?s civilian population? Will they all be arrested for the hate crime of ?excessive? criticism of Israel?
This is a serious question.
A recent UN report, which is yet to be released in its entirety, blames Israel for the deaths and injuries that occurred within the United Nations premises in Gaza. The Israeli government has responded by charging that the UN report is ?tendentious, patently biased,? which puts the UN report into the State Department?s category of excessive criticism and strong anti-Israel sentiment.
Israel is getting away with its blatant use of the American government to silence its critics despite the fact that the Israeli press and Israeli soldiers have exposed the Israeli atrocities in Gaza and the premeditated murder of women and children urged upon the Israeli invaders by rabbis. These acts are clearly war crimes.
It was the Israeli press that published the pictures of the Israeli soldiers? T-shirts that indicate that the wilful murder of women and children is now the culture of the Israeli army. The T-shirts are horrific expressions of barbarity. For example, one shows a pregnant Palestinian woman with a crosshairs over her stomach and the slogan, ?One shot, two kills.? These T-shirts are an indication that Israel?s policy toward the Palestinians is one of extermination.
It has been true for years that the most potent criticism of Israel?s mistreatment of the Palestinians comes from the Israeli press and Israeli peace groups. For example, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz and Jeff Halper of ICAHD have shown a moral conscience that apparently does not exist in the Western democracies where Israel?s crimes are covered up and even praised.
Will the American hate crime bill be applied to Haaretz and Jeff Halper? Will American commentators who say nothing themselves but simply report what Haaretz and Halper have said be arrested for ?spreading hatred of Israel, an anti-semitic act??
Many Americans have been brainwashed by the propaganda that Palestinians are terrorists who threaten innocent Israel. These Americans will see the censorship as merely part of the necessary war on terror. They will accept the demonization of fellow citizens who report unpalatable facts about Israel and agree that such people should be punished for aiding and abetting terrorists.
A massive push is underway to criminalize criticism of Israel. American university professors have fallen victim to the well organized attempt to eliminate all criticism of Israel. Norman Finkelstein was denied tenure at a Catholic university because of the power of the Israel Lobby. Now the Israel Lobby is after University of California (at Santa Barbara,) professor William I. Robinson. Robinson?s crime: his course on global affairs included some reading assignments critical of Israel?s invasion of Gaza.
The Israel Lobby apparently succeeded in convincing the Obama Justice (sic) Department that it is anti-semitic to accuse two Jewish AIPAC officials, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman, of spying. The Israel Lobby succeeded in getting their trial delayed for four years, and now Attorney General Eric Holder has dropped charges. Yet, Larry Franklin, the DOD official accused of giving secret material to Rosen and Weissman, is serving 12 years and 7 months in prison.
The absurdity is extraordinary. The two Israeli agents are not guilty of receiving secrets, but the American official is guilty of giving secrets to them! If there is no spy in the story, how was Franklin convicted of giving secrets to a spy?
Criminalizing criticism of Israel destroys any hope of America having an independent foreign policy in the Middle East that serves American rather than Israeli interests. It eliminates any prospect of Americans escaping from their enculturation with Israeli propaganda.
To keep American minds captive, the Lobby is working to ban as anti-semitic any truth or disagreeable fact that pertains to Israel. It is permissible to criticize every other country in the world, but it is anti-semitic to criticize Israel, and anti-semitism will soon be a universal hate-crime in the Western world.
Most of Europe has already criminalized doubting the Holocaust. It is a crime even to confirm that it happened but to conclude that less than 6 million Jews were murdered.
Why is the Holocaust a subject that is off limits to examination? How could a case buttressed by hard facts possibly be endangered by kooks and anti-semitics? Surely the case doesn?t need to be protected by thought control.
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan
administration. He is coauthor of ?The Tyranny of Good Intentions?.
Web link http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts05072009.html