Thursday, 18 June 2009

Seven Jewish Children gets Tel Aviv showing

The campaign against Caryl Churchill's play for Gaza, Seven Jewish Children sadly had success at the Liverpool City sponsored Writing on the Wall cultural festival. The sponsors refused to show the play unless a 'right to reply' - Richard Stirling's play Seven Other Children - was shown. The city authorities cut funding after the organisers of the cultural festival refused to comply.

On a happier note, Caryl Churchill's play is to be shown in Tel Aviv.
A controversial play, "Seven Jewish Children: A Play for Gaza," written after Israel's Operation Cast Lead by British writer Caryl Churchill, will be staged for the first time in Israel in Tel Aviv's Kikar Rabin this evening, as part of Hebrew Book Week events. It is directed online via Skype and video by Samieh Jabbarin, who has been under house arrest for four months.

Jabbarin, a Jaffa resident and director at the city's Arab-Hebrew Theater, was placed under arrest in his parents' Umm al-Fahm home after demonstrating against the appointment of radical right activist Baruch Marzel as monitor of the town's polling station in the January elections.

Jabbarin says he is "a political prisoner" and his arrest is persecution due to his activism. He says he chose this play, whose production was initiated by the Coalition of Women for Peace as part of the campaign against the siege on Gaza, "because it's one of the few international plays that deal with the conflict in a courageous way both artistically and intellectually and enables us to tell the Palestinians' story through a Jewish perspective." more

Audio: more reports on the sewage lakes of Gaza

Listen: Free Speech Radio News

In the Gaza strip, scientists and community members are saying that lagoons filled with sewage are creating serious health and environmental problems. But as FSRN´s Rami Almeghari reports, efforts to build a water treatment plant have been stymied by Israel´s tough restrictions on the materials that can be sent into the coastal strip.
See our earlier post: sewage lakes can be seen from space

US tells Israel not to link prisoner of war Gilad to lifting of Gaza siege

The United States has stepped up pressure on Israel regarding the Gaza Strip: Three weeks ago it sent Jerusalem a diplomatic note officially protesting Gaza policy and demanding a more liberal opening of the border crossings to facilitate reconstruction.

U.S. and Israeli sources say the note was followed by a verbal communication clarifying that the Obama administration thinks Israel's linkage of the case of abducted soldier Gilad Shalit and the opening of the crossings was not constructive.

The note was delivered to Israel after a decision by senior U.S. officials including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and special Mideast envoy George Mitchell. The latter discussed the contents of the note during his visit to Israel last week.

U.S. demands on Israel's Gaza policy were also raised Wednesday during talks between Clinton and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who is on an official visit to Washington. more