Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Seven Jewish Children

Caryl Churchill's new play expresses outrage at Israel's recent actions in Gaza. The play centers around the lies children growing up in Israel in the last 60 years have been told by their parents. A few excerpts:

Tell her we won

Tell her her brother’s a hero

Tell her how the tanks rolled in

Tell her how big their armies are

Tell her we turned them back

Tell her we’re fighters

Tell her we’ve got new land

Tell her it’s our water, we have the right

Tell her it’s not the water for their fields

Don’t tell her not to look at the bulldozer

Don’t tell her it was knocking the house down

Tell her it’s a building site


Tell her the Hamas fighters have been killed

Tell her they’re terrorists

Tell her they’re filth


Tell her we killed the babies by mistake

Don’t tell her anything about the army

So I was about to get angry.

Then I read this gem from Jonathan Hoffman at Harry's Place:

If you should meet Caryl Churchill (maybe at meetings of the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign where she is a Patron) please tell her that she has written a play which reinforces false stereotypes and demonises Israelis. Tell her there is a vibrant press in Israel where all opinions can be found and freely expressed. Tell her that Israelis are not the heartless, murderous triumphalists that she portrays. Tell her that Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, removing military bases and its citizens from Gush Katif but nevertheless continuing to provide Gazans with electricity, water, and goods. Tell her how workers at the power plant in Ashdod risked injury or even death from the rockets which were being fired from Gaza — the place where they were supplying electricity. Tell her that Israeli parents tell their children the truth and therefore do not teach them that Palestinians are subhuman and to be hated. Tell her that it’s antisemitic to use the phrase “chosen people” to imply that Jews believe they are superior to non-Jews (tell her the phrase involves responsibilities as well as blessings).

But the trouble is, she probably knows all that.

So tell her then that there’s a nice job waiting for her at PressTV.

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