A UK tour by Palestine’s Freedom Theatre started successfully in Manchester last night, despite scurrilous attacks from right-wing British newspapers.
According to a spokesperson for the tour’s support group in Manchester, around 600 tickets had been sold for the two nights The Siege, a production by the Jenin-based drama group, is running there.
And although the Manchester venue allowed Zionist Federation members to hand out leaflets after the play, no attempts were made to disrupt it.
Further performances are scheduled for Colchester, London, Leeds, Hastings, Frome, Birmingham, Nottingham, Halesworth and Glasgow.
The Siege is based on interviews with Palestinians who took refuge in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem during Israel’s spring 2002 invasion, and who were besieged there for six weeks.
The Daily Mail, a right-wing paper with a long history of both anti-Semitic and anti-Palestinian slurs, launched an attack on the tour under the headline: “UK taxpayers fund ‘pro-terrorist’ play: £15,000 of public money given to show based on the words of Hamas killers.”
The article calls the play “unashamedly one-sided” and quotes unsubstantiated claims by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, a standard voice in attempts to silence Palestinian narratives. more