News of the protest letter signed by Israeli theater actors refusing to perform in the new cultureal center in Ariel have made it to Hollywood and is now endorsed by American and British actors, directors and playwrights.
Some 150 American entertainers signed a public petition in support of the Israeli artists' boycott.
The petition, organized by the Jewish Voice For Peace organization, was signed by such American theater and film figures as Sex and the City actress Cynthia Nixon, award-winning playwright Tony Kushner ("Angels in American", "Munich"), actress Jennifer Tilley ("Bullets Over Broadway"), Mandy Patinkin ("Princess Bride"), acclaimed British actress Vanessa Redgrave and co-founder of the Cameri Theater in Tel Aviv Theodore Bikel.
"On August 27th, dozens of Israeli actors, directors, and playwrights made the brave decision not to perform in Ariel, one of the largest of the West Bank settlements, which by all standards of international law are clearly illegal. As American actors, directors, critics and playwrights, we salute our Israeli counterparts for their courageous decision," the statement read.
Jennifer Tilly. Supports Israeli artists (Photo: MCT)
"Most of us are involved in daily compromises with wrongful acts," the petition noted. "When a group of people suddenly have the clarity of mind to see that the next compromise looming up before them is an unbearable one, and when they somehow find the strength to refuse to cross that line – we can't help but be overjoyed and inspired and grateful."
"It's thrilling to see that these Israeli theater artists have refused to allow their work to be used to normalize a cruel occupation which they know to be wrong, which violates international law and which is impeding the hope for a just and lasting peace for Israelis and Palestinians alike. They made a wonderful decision and they deserve the respect of people everywhere who dream of justice. We stand with them."
'Many signatories are Jewish'
Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace Rebecca Vilkomerson said: "The response of American and UK artists to the actions of their courageous Israeli counterparts is just phenomenal. It is especially notable that so many of the signatories are Jewish with long-standing connections to Israel."
She further added, "We hope that the strong show of solidarity will help spark a new conversation in both countries, one that acknowledges that the Jewish settlements in the occupied territories are illegal by every measure of international law, contribute to the daily violation of human rights of Palestinians, and are a major obstacle to a just peace in the region."
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