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Jerusalem deputy mayor: Defund theater showing Rachel Corrie play

Hatred for Rachel Corrie knows no limits, as a Jerusalem municipal official demonstrates by trying to ban a play about the ‘Israel-hater tourist.’ The director to +972 Magazine: ‘He should see it before judging.’

American activist Rachel Corrie (photo: Rachel Corrie Foundation)


Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem David Hadari, of Nafatli Bennet’s Jewish Home party, demanded that the city stop funding the Khan Theater because it is hosting a play about Rachel CorrieHaaretz reported Sunday evening [Heb].

My Name is Rachel Corrie” is a play that has been staged around the world and is now showing in Israel in Hebrew, directed by Ari Remez. It is based on the diaries Corrie wrote during her stay in Israel/Palestine as an activist with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) up until her death in 2003.

Rachel Corrie’s story has always touched a nerve in Israeli society, as can be seen in Hadari’s letter to the relevant authorities in the municipality:

“In the past few days I was shocked to learn that the Khan Theater is advertising a play which it intends to show about the tourist Rachel Corrie, who was run over in an unfortunate accident by an IDF bulldozer during an operation in Gaza. May I remind you, this was a girl who demonstrated against Israel, against IDF soldiers and against the IDF’s activities to protect the communities of the South from missiles and terrorists. In other words, this was an Israel hater who was unintentionally killed and that the courts in Israel refused the family’s requests for compensation… We should not lend a hand to problematic plays that hurt Israel and Jerusalem in the name of art.

In its response to Haaretz, the Khan Theater said the show is not its own, it is just hosting the performance.

The play’s director, Ari Remez, told +972 Magazine:

It’s a pity that the deputy mayor, just as MK Orit Strouk before him, is hurrying to judge the play as inciting without even seeing it. They are both most welcome to come and see the play first to see what it’s all about.

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    1. rsgenglad

      The International Solidarity Movement, of which Corrie was a member, has a very antagonistic anti-Israel stance.
      Why should tax payers money go towards funding a theater which allows an anti-Israel play about a person, who had the demise of Israel as her goal.
      The ISM dedicates itself to anti-Israel actions, only being pro-Palestinian when that involves confrontation with Israel.
      What projects, what money, what effort has the ISM expended on improving or bettering the life of Palestinians in their quest for their own state.
      The ISM has always devoted their energies to help the Palestinians believe that if they can hold out long enough, Israel will finally be defeated and disappear.
      Rachel Corrie was a member of the ISM.

      Reply to Comment
      • Noor

        Because Israel claims to be the only democratic state in the Arab world, that is why.

        Reply to Comment
    2. Charles-Jerusalem

      To the author of the article,
      This is a bit light for an article don’t you think so?
      It would have been useful to provide elements of content of the play that pushed the Jrlm deputy mayor to stop funding the theather.
      Amy Kaufmann could have interviewed the theater management in order to know their motivations to stage this play.
      It is not because I will go to see a play about Rachel Corrie that I will find it a good play or my ideas about the Israeli/palestinian conflict will change.
      But causing trouble to a theater that decided to stage the play is a political mistake, it just give the wrong image about us and make people who did not care about it, want to see it.
      We call it “right of expression”. In a democraty, it cannot be touched.

      Reply to Comment
      • I guess you’ll have to ask “Amy Kaufmann”.

        Reply to Comment
        • Charles-Jerusalem

          To Ami Kaufman,
          Sorry for the spelling mistake.
          So, here I am, I am asking you.
          but what should I be asking you about?

          Reply to Comment
          • Gee, I don’t know… How can I answer if you don’t know what the question is? This is just horrible!

            Reply to Comment
    3. michael livingston

      I don’t think much of Corrie RIP but I don’t think it makes any sense to censor her story. If you don’t like it don’t go.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Ari

      Jerusalem’s deputy mayor’s attempts at curbing down freedom of expression are disturbing.

      Reply to Comment
    5. mplo

      Defunding a theatre for showing a play such as “My Name is Rachel Corrie” , imho, flies in the face of democracy. No matter how controversial a given play may be, people who wish to see it have the right to see it.

      Reply to Comment
    6. State funding for the arts can not be without limitations. I suspect there are Nazi era plays which would be repugnant, beyond State tolerance of funding. The question is whether Corrie reaches that. It is my understanding that Corrie was attempting to interdict the destuction of housing in which people lived. The deupty mayor frames the matter in complete disregard of that reason. This is suspicious, and makes me think that indeed hearing Corrie’s diary words in theater might enlarge all of our understandings.

      Reply to Comment
    7. rsgengland

      The Mayor of Jerusalem has in no way attempted to curb “freedom of expression”.
      He was saying that state/tax payers money should not be used to SUBSIDIZE the production of a play about a person {and the organization she was a member of], who was/is active in working toward the demise of that state; Israel.

      Reply to Comment