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Richard II

The Globe Theatre BDS Scandal

Richard II

Ashtar Theatre perform Richard II in the open-air courtyard of a ruined 8th-century palace in Jericho

This is a story of three Theatres. The Habima Theatre of Israel, The Globe Theatre of London UK, and the Ashtar theatre in Ramallah, occupied Palestine. The Ashtar Theatre has recently received rave reviews, with an ‘Arab Spring’ version of Shakespeare’s classic tale – Richard 2nd, and are due to perform this May at the Globe theatre.

Many were shocked in the UK, when the National Globe Theatre also invited Israel’s Habima National Theatre to perform in May. This then kicked of a storm of ‘disavowals and denouncements’ on the Guardian Letter’s pages. All terribly British. See below.

Letters in the Guardian

1. Dismay at Globe invitation to Israeli theatre Thursday 29 March 2012

We notice with dismay and regret that Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London has invited Israel’s National Theatre, Habima, to perform The Merchant of Venice in its Globe to Globe festival this coming May. The general manager of Habima has declared the invitation “an honourable accomplishment for the State of Israel”. But Habima has a shameful record of involvement with illegal Israeli settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory. Last year, two large Israeli settlements established “halls of culture” and asked Israeli theatre groups to perform there. A number of Israeli theatre professionals – actors, stage directors, playwrights – declared they would not take part.

Habima, however, accepted the invitation with alacrity, and promised the Israeli minister of culture that it would “deal with any problems hindering such performances”. By inviting Habima, Shakespeare’s Globe is undermining the conscientious Israeli actors and playwrights who have refused to break international law.

The Globe says it wants to “include” the Hebrew language in its festival – we have no problem with that. “Inclusiveness” is a core value of arts policy in Britain, and we support it. But by inviting Habima, the Globe is associating itself with policies of exclusion practised by the Israeli state and endorsed by its national theatre company. We ask the Globe to withdraw the invitation so that the festival is not complicit with human rights violations and the illegal colonisation of occupied land.

  • David Aukin producer
  • Poppy Burton-Morgan artistic director, Metta Theatre
  • Leo Butler playwright
  • Niall Buggy actor…..

2. Denounce, don’t censor: Globe’s invitation to Habima should stand

I was sad to see the letter (30 March) from many eminent theatre workers – including David Calder, Mark Rylance, Harriet Walter, Roger Lloyd Pack, Cherie Lunghi and Jonathan Miller – asking Shakespeare’s Globe to withdraw the invitation to Israel’s Habima theatre to perform The Merchant of Venice in its Globe to Globe festival this coming May. I think it’s wrong-headed – could the signatories think again?

 They argue that, by inviting the Habima, the Globe is showing support for the illegal settlements in the Palestinian occupied territories. But by inviting the National Theatre of China to perform Richard III, is the Globe also showing support for the occupation of Tibet?

 So what is this story all about? A bunch of theatre lovies getting all politically hot and bothered about Israel, and upset that our National theatre’s invitation could be seen as an endorsement of Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Strangely the BDS is nowhere to be seen in all of this. One would be forgiven in thinking that boycotting Habima would be a prime target for the BDS. However as Omar Barghouti studies at Tel Aviv University the BDS have probably got other things on their agenda than hassling the Habima Theatre Company. One could be even forgiven for thinking that just maybe, BDS might help to promote a Palestinian Theatre company, like the Ashtar theatre in Ramallah.

Many of us at deliberation, believe that the principles of BDS are still quite correct and valid, and that sanctions can be effective, but wonder whether some of the leadership of the BDS movement have become compromised or even perhaps, are controlled opposition. ~JB

It is ironic that when a bunch of Actors and Producers attempt to protest at the Habima invitation, they are then later denounced, and their crime? Restricting free speech. And what about the Palestinian Theatre Company in this story? Well they are still coming in May as well as Habima, conveniently Habima has received lots of free publicity, but the Ashtar theatre has not been so lucky. Until now…. So spread the word!!!

Richard 2nd at the Globe

Palestinian Shakespeare at the Globe.

  1. Friday afternoon  4th May (2pm)
  2. Saturday night 5th May  (7pm)

Ticket and directions to the Globe Theatre London.

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34 Responses to The Globe Theatre BDS Scandal

  1. Gilad Atzmon April 27, 2012 at 12:55 am #

    Hi Jonathon,,, I think that the issue is pretty simple here. If BDS is there to support Palestinians, it better find to way to support Palestinians artists who visit this country like the Ashtar theatre.

    As things stand tonight, no one know about the the Ashtar theatre’s Globe visit, as it seems to me the BDS gave here free publicity for Habima. Habima shows are nearly sold out while our Palestinian friends are not doing very well on the box office..

    It seems to me as if the UK BDS, in its current form, operates as an Israeli PR agency. It turns to floodlight on Israeli acts, create some controversy and then let them sell out. In fact I use the same tactics, I let Greenstein, Dershowitz and Abunimah make some noise and watch Wandering Who selling out.

  2. searching April 27, 2012 at 1:08 am #

    “I let Greenstein, Dershowitz and Abunimah make some noise and watch Wandering Who selling out”
    Watch out. Some may say ,( and probably they will) that you deliberately provoke those
    Grand-Masters to give you a free publicity. 🙂

  3. Jonathon Blakeley April 27, 2012 at 8:14 am #

    This amused me from Jenifer Lipman, seems fair and balanced… 😉

    Theatre ban ‘like Nazi book burning’ say West End Jewish stars

    “This has a kind of stench to it which reminds me of the hundreds of other times when Jews were excluded for whatever reason, as writers, actors and painters, from the Russian tsar to Hitler onwards.”

    Steven Berkoff

    “There is a shadow that is from antisemitism that casts itself over the Jewish topic and particularly Israel, which stops people seeing clearly,” he added. “It’s nasty to ban actors, – they are the messengers of drama and literature, they are the messengers of the light and philosophy of a nation.”Steven Berkoff

    “I don’t notice them trying to ban Israeli inventions which are changing the world,” Jenifer Lipman.

    What like drones?

  4. Gilad Atzmon April 27, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    Yep, Israelis and many Jews do believe that it is Jewish wisdom that keep our planet together. This is the true meaning of is funny indeed..

    • Jonathon Blakeley April 27, 2012 at 8:40 am #

      Its funny and sad. Funny that they say such nonsense. Sad that its always Jewish victimhood that is supreme.


      DARVO is an acronym to describe a common strategy of abusers: Deny the abuse, then Attack the victim for attempting to make them accountable for their offense, thereby Reversing Victim and Offender.

      1. Deny the abuse
      2. Attack the victim
      3. Reverse the roles
      4. Become the victim

      In that paper Freyd explained that DARVO responses may be effective for perpetrators. “…I have observed that actual abusers threaten, bully and make a nightmare for anyone who holds them accountable or asks them to change their abusive behavior. This attack, intended to chill and terrify, typically includes threats of law suits, overt and covert attacks on the whistle-blower’s credicility, and so on….. [T]he offender rapidly creates the impression that the abuser is the wronged one, while the victim or concerned observer is the offender. Figure and ground are completely reversed… The offender is on the offense and the person attempting to hold the offender accountable is put on the defense.” (Freyd, 1997, p 29-30)

      We see this time and time again from Jewish culture.

      1. Israel denies it is Nazi like
      2. It then attacks the Palestinians as in Operation cast lead, shoots children, destroy houses etc etc.
      3. Reverse the roles – claim that THEY are the victims.
      4. Become the victim – claim that they are subject to nazi-like abuses and their suffering is the real one.

      • Gilad Atzmon April 27, 2012 at 11:05 am #

        Bravo to DARVO…this is indeed the J political cultural mantra and it is consistent with Mossad’s by way of deception..

      • searching April 27, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

        it is a very vicious method that is becoming quite a norm .
        A robber attack’s guy’s home. A gue shoots the robber in his arm.The robber claims that the guy made him invalid ,and a judge makes the guy guilty of a crime of making the poor, innocent robber invalid. So the perpatrator became a victim ,and a victim, for merely defenfing himself and his poroperty ,became the aggressor. I’ve heard of such cases once in a while.
        Israel is applying it on everyday base.
        Many people buy it because it’s convenient for them ,or they just don’t care.
        ONLy when injustice starts creeping on their own backyard, when it concerns them, their own person, thenthey perceive it as a true injustice and see how damaging, unfair, cruel it is.
        The fact that many politicians turn the other way, and pretend like they don’t see Israeli bloody-agressor-turned into-innocent-victim actions ,shows again how much power Jewish MSmedia, and behind-the-curtain affluent and influential personlities have in our world.
        The spider web that was created for us all seems to be very thick and almost impossible to break. And the spiders are waiting unpatiently for the final possiblity to have a feast on our expense.
        Will the flies caught in a sticky web be able to free themselves using only their own strenght??

  5. Gilad Atzmon April 27, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    I think that we should all say NO to Book Burning , Zionist or BDS… the principle is the same and it is always wrong !!!

    • Jonathon Blakeley April 27, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

      The same people that were urging for “The Wandering Who” to be banned & boycotted are now moaning about boycotting of Habima.

      • Jay Knott April 27, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

        When you try to ban something and instead draw attention to it, it’s called the Streisand Effect:

        • Jonathon Blakeley April 27, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

          The Streisand effect and Reverse Hasbara

          The Streisand effect was anonymously named after Barbara Streisand sued trying to get picture of her mansion removed from the internet. The affect was to actually spread it even further, by trying to prohibit something on the Internet it quite often just makes it more popular – an inverse effect. The more Barbara tried to suppress the information the further it spread.

          The same happened with Wikileaks when it came under DOS attack after its major leaks. People offered to clone Wikileaks data, & within no time at all, there were hundreds of wikileaks mirror websites all over the world.

          We see this reverse hasbara more and more these days. As Zionist and Anti-zionist ‘explain’ their cases to us ‘dumb peasants’. It actually has the reverse effect. It does not explain but reveals their weaknesses. So as in the case of Ryan Giggs and his now defunct super injunction it actually spread the story and made people think the opposite. By trying to suppress the story of Ryan Giggs and his love affairs and hair dye, people just became more and more interested.

          The same was true of the Sex pistols and all their controversy. Malcom Mcclarren said that “being banned by the BBC was the best thing to happen the Sex Pistols”

  6. Jonathon Blakeley April 27, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    In this earlier post on deLiberation about Jews framing gentiles we see DARVO again.

    CASE 1
    1. The Jewish girl denies all knowledge of the attacks.
    2. She then attacks herself with swastikas & anti-semitic hate.
    3. Then she reverses the role again.
    4. And she is the victim, and the gentiles the abusers.

    But she is found out. It is often the case, that the ones reporting the crimes are the ones committing the crimes. Which is THE DARVO model.

    DARVO here also
    CASE 2
    IDF soldier hits Danish cyclist Peace activist in face
    1. They deny it is an violent attack. DENY
    2. They attack the media coverage only 2 minutes of a 2 hour event.
    The reaction, he said, “most likely stemmed from the fact that the activist had just assaulted him and broke his hand. It was instinctual.” ATTACK
    3. The soldier becomes the victim. Poor soldier. REVERSE.
    4. The peace activist is now a vicious aggressor and deserves everything he gets! The VICTIM is now the AGGRESSOR. Serves you right you nasty Danish Cyclist.

    Repeat ad infintium.

  7. Jonathon Blakeley April 27, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    Here is the ful list of Theatre people who believe that a cultural boycott of Israel is justified.

    David Calder, actor
    Caryl Churchill, playwright
    Trevor Griffiths, playwright
    Mike Leigh, filmmaker, dramatist
    Roger Lloyd Pack, actor
    Cherie Lunghi, actor
    Miriam Margolyes OBE, actor
    Kika Markham, actor
    Jonathan Miller, director, author and broadcaster
    Mark Rylance, actor
    Emma Thompson, actor, screenwriter
    Harriet Walter DBE, actor
    Richard Wilson, actor, director
    David Aukin, producer
    Poppy Burton-Morgan, artistic director, Metta Theatre
    Leo Butler, playwright
    Niall Buggy, actor
    Jonathan Chadwick, director
    Michael Darlow, writer, director
    Annie Firbank, actor
    Paul Freeman, actor
    Matyelok Gibbs, actor
    Tony Graham, director
    John Graham Davies, actor, writer
    Janet Henfrey, actor
    James Ivens, artistic director, Flood Theatre
    Andrew Jarvis, actor, director, teacher
    Neville Jason, actor
    Ursula Jones, actor
    Professor Adah Kay, academic, playwright
    Sonja Linden, playwright, iceandfire theatre
    Frances Rifkin, director
    Alexei Sayle, comedian, writer
    Farhana Sheikh, writer
    Andy de la Tour, actor, director
    Hilary Westlake, director
    Susan Wooldridge, actor, writer

    I am unclear as to whether this boycott of Habima was a grass roots movement or whether it was BDS led. As far as I can see, BDS seems to have claimed the credit for it afterwards.

    • ariadna April 28, 2012 at 3:21 am #

      I don’t see Kevin Spacey on it.

  8. searching April 27, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    People should boycott main stream media on a MASS scale.
    Cancel their cable/satelite deals and place TVs in a garabge bin.
    I know it won’t happen, and for me it’s a sign how weak we are ,as a massive collective group, that doesn’t care that is being subjected to lies, manipulations, demoralizing “entertainment” and plain, sheer stupidity .
    Many people looove to be deceived, as long as they have very basic things that they enjoy. As long as “our own backyard” is quiet, peaceful and has a food on a grill.

    • Chester April 27, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

      That is not going to happen. People are not going to switch off their TVs to please political activists.

      Activists always say that “ordinary people” are gullible and believe everything in the media. I think this is a form of elitism. In fact, we are all ordinary people, apart from the super-rich who actually control the media.

      I am encouraged by the general cynicism towards the mass media. Of course, the mass media reflects the interests of the rich and powerful. “The dominant ideology is the ideology of the ruling class” as Marx put it. People know this instinctively, though they express it in simpler terms like “us and them”.

      The real mystification lies in the fact that democracy offers us false choices and presents false oppositions. Thus some people talk about a Tory/conservative elite while others (especially in the USA) talk about a liberal elite. This makes it so easy for the ruling class. Economic crisis? Blame the government/last government/EU/filthy foreigners. Whoever, it does not matter. Just deflect people from questioning the whole ruddy system.

      BTW I like having a peaceful backyard where I can enjoy a barbecue on my day off. Got a problem with that?

      • searching April 27, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

        “BTW I like having a peaceful backyard where I can enjoy a barbecue on my day off. Got a problem with that”
        No. Why? Enjoy whole you can since it won’t last for too long.

        • searching April 27, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

          “The dominant ideology is the ideology of the ruling class” as Marx put it”.
          Yesterdays “freedom fighters” maybe become tomorrows oppressors.
          It was proven in Russia in 1917 ,but you just don’t get it.
          Enjoy you barbecue.

          • Chester April 27, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

            On the contrary, searching, I think you are the one who doesn’t get it. Or maybe you do get it but you are being dishonest, like a Zionist.

            I am not a leninist. So why do you bring up “Russia in 1917”? It is a dishonest scare tactic, just as Zionists always bring up Hitler or the HolocaustTM to jam any communication they don’t like. Cosmo does it all the time, but apparently you are no better.

            If you are interested in my opinion, I think the bolshevik coup in 1917 was counter-revolutionary, even if (partly) motivated by the good intentions to take Russia out of World War I and feed the starving poor instead.

          • searching April 27, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

            all those western “wanna-be-communists” in slippers, tend to be very naive and very dishonest.
            They will igonore all the evidence and facts, and cling to their “emotional/utopian false truth” like a child clinging desperately to its blankey.
            Here is some video that you should watch.

          • searching April 27, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

            there is one ,fairly simple pattern that one can follow, and it leads to the same source.
            Let’s start from the top–creation of NWO as a main goal.
            It was a along process, took years
            ( centuries) to achieve it.
            That’s why I consider it to be a satanicc/demonical/ucyferian process because a sinle person could not benefir from it, since it took few hundread years to achieve it.
            Jewish elite play/played an extremely important, leading role in it.
            Marx/Darwin were all sponsered by rich Jewish oligarchyy. The Russian revolutionm the same. The same goes for WW1 and WW2, the same goes for creating League of Nations ( later UN) the same goes for creating “War on terror “, etc.
            The film eugenics
            talks about plans to control, modify , destroy population.
            It was also sponsored and supported by rich Jews, who were also major scientists behind it.
            After the war eugenics became genetics,
            and focused mainly on sterelizing poulation, abortion, anti-conception and in-vitro .
            In vitro is a part of so called transhumanism. Transhumanism is devoted to creation future cyborg/clones, part-humans, part-animals. So the final goal is to create WW3, get rid of a few billions of useless O2 takers, and control the rest of the population/slaves by rfid chips, and control their growth by using solely in-vitro, an artificial insemination thatt on top of it will be modified by usage of genes from different species.
            So …this is the overall picture of our future generation. Lovely.

          • searching April 27, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

            If you don’t SEE ALL of that , then you don’t see anything.
            The danger to us, as a humanity/humankind is much bigger than many dare to realise.
            It is a morbid danger.
            To frightening even to think about.
            If you start connecting all the dots,
            that’s what it shows.
            And it is very ugly.
            Ugly, bloody and scary.

          • Jay Knott April 28, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

            ‘Marx/Darwin were all sponsered by rich Jewish oligarchy. The Russian revolutionm the same. The same goes for WW1 and WW2, the same goes for creating League of Nations (later UN) the same goes for creating “War on terror “, etc.’ Wow. Thanks for the exposé. ‘If you don’t SEE ALL of that , then you don’t see anything.’ What a powerful argument! Thanks for enlightening us, ‘searching’.

          • searching April 28, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

            I did my homework and I know what Iam talking about. Apparently you did not.
            You want to cling to your “emotional truth”
            then be it.
            Iam done with “enlightment”.
            Majority of the people prefer their own comfy truth over some kind of enlightment
            anyway. Dream on my friend.

  9. searching April 27, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    wow, this is an interesting news
    “..JERUSALEM, April 23 (Xinhua) — Several dozens of high school students watching a play portraying the gruelling hardships of life in Vilna’s Jewish Ghetto during World War II applauded and cheered the Nazis, during Holocaust Remembrance Day last week.

    During the play “Ghetto,” which was performed on Wednesday at Tel Aviv’s Cameri Theater before audiences from four high schools, some students disrupted the solemn tale by shouting catcalls at the actors, and cheered a Nazi who shot dead a Jew. Others called out “hit him harder” and “way to go” during a scene where a kapo beat a Jew, Army Radio reported Monday.

    At the play’s conclusion, actor Oded Leopold called from the stage for the audience to halt their applause, and sharply chastised the students’ behavior.

    “You embarrassed the Jewish people and the Holocaust,” Leopold said, adding “I hope what goes on in your heart is different from what came out of your mouths.”

    Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar called the students’ behavior ” a disgrace that pains the heart,” according to the Times of Israel.

    Leopold told the Ma’ariv Hebrew daily that some of the actors burst into tears over the mocking interruptions.

    “We cried because we were frustrated and offended,” due to the emotional toll of acting out Holocaust-related scenes, he told the newspaper…”

  10. ariadna April 27, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    Some of this stuff strikes me a off the deep end.
    Perhaps I am naive, as you postulate for those who do not see all the you see and I am sure that I am not “very dishonest” but fanaticism of any sort has always repelled me. It is first cousin to intolerance, which also repels and –one can successfully argue–it is anti-Christian too.
    I have known many scientists in my career, some of them religious–some Christian and some Jewish — and they had somehow managed to reconcile their religion with science. Occasionally science loses, as famously happened in Einstein’s less than stellar hour when he rejected quantum physics because “God does not play dice.” It is a bit late in the day and short one dollar to quarrel with Darwin. There can be refinements, revisions but on the whole the evolution of the species stands.
    Ideologies are another matter but even there, for one example, I am struck by the video’s contention that Roosevelt’s New Deal was an evil engineered by rich jews. If the rich Jews had really engineered such evil deals, and more like that one like, all benefiting the American people, they would be fine patriots.
    It is fine that we have diverse views and opinions but those we don’t like are not necessarily naive or–unless demonstrably so–deeply dishonest opinions.

    • searching April 27, 2012 at 8:44 pm #

      From what I remember my comment was specifically directed to Chester, so I do not see why you are so offended. I don’t force anybody to think the way I do, but I am also not obliged to buy b.s. that the other side is preaching.
      Communism stemmed from the same source that many other evils. The same people, who helped Nazi achieve its power, helped also communism to gain its power and spread it. The same people were also interested in eugenic that after WW2 was renamed as genetics and now functions as transhumanism. Those are facts and if somebody does not like them then ,Yes, I will call them naive and ignorant.
      I did not discover this.
      There are many books, publications, articles, videos, lectures etc. about it.
      But one has to be willing to listen/read them with an open heart/mind to see the connection.
      By supporting communism ( the ideology that in reality gobbled up about 150-180 millions of people)one supports the same evil that created zionism, and its on its way to devour us all.

  11. searching April 27, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

    veru interesting comment on America by David Icke.

  12. searching April 28, 2012 at 1:22 am #

    excelent speech by Gilad.
    It looks like the meeting of the Inquisition Panel deciding to burn Gilad, or am I mistaken??

    • searching April 28, 2012 at 1:28 am #

      I guess Iam mistaken.
      It looks like it was rather Gilad-friendly environment.

  13. Roy Bard May 2, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    The Grauniad letter quoted in the article whined that:

    …by inviting the National Theatre of China to perform Richard III, is the Globe also showing support for the occupation of Tibet?

    That point is addressed in a Hebrew article in Haaretz: (English Language translation by Sol Salbe)

    Those who oppose the boycott, from within and without, resorted to the old stand-by argument: Among those invited to the festival, Israel is not the only country that violates human rights. So why pick on Habima? But even if we ignore the childishness of the argument (just because “others do it” does not justify committing an offence), it is evident that it is based on disinformation and demagoguery.
    Habima’s critics in Britain do not claim that the theatre is unworthy of participation in the festival because it is Israeli, nor do the claim that is unworthy because it represents a country that violates human rights. They object to Habima because it appears in the Ariel Cultural Centre. In other words it is not the state that Habima represents that is on trial, but the theatre itself, as the regime’s collaborator in implementing its policy.

    The Habima Theatre stage is an active participant in oppressing the Palestinians, because by appearing at the Ariel Cultural Centre, “as it does elsewhere in Israel’ (even though Ariel is not in Israel, not even according to the laws of the state itself), it actually takes part in the huge effort undertaken by the government to normalise the settlements.

    Is there another theatre among the 37 invited to the festival which collaborates so directly in the violation of human rights? Does the Chinese theatre troupe, for example, help the police in oppressing the Tibetan people? The answer, most likely is no. Therefore, in Habima’s critics’ view, the Chinese theatre troupe shouldn’t be excluded from the festival.

    • Ariadna Theokopoulos May 2, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

      I hope you are noting it with admiration.
      “Never let a new shtick go to waste on a single use.” (Hasbara Laws, work in progress.)
      “Repetition is the mother of brainwashing”–cf. Goebbels. Also see Bernays.
      If someone following the news reads it four places he may think “Wow, there are already four people saying that; there must be something to it.”

  14. Roy Bard May 7, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    In support of cultural BDS, Iman Aoun, artistic director of Ashtar said:

    At night Israeli artists want to perform with us and in the morning they serve in the army. What is the use of going on producing art when deep down they know they are breaking basic human rights by supporting the occupation and its apartheid regime and settlements? Israelis need to work inside their own society; changes have to occur on the ground in Israel for there to be real justice.

  15. lock Konner May 2, 2016 at 10:50 am #

    oh please.