AJDS responds to cancellation of Amnesty’s performance of “Seven Jewish Children” 13Nov09 November 14, 2009

by Les Rosenblatt  -  AJDS Media Release 13 November 2009

Jewish  group slams ban

The left-leaning Australian Jewish Democratic Society today reacted angrily to news of  interference with the intended  Amnesty performance of  Caryl Churchill’s play ‘Seven Jewish Children’ at Perth’s  Kulcha centre.  AJDS spokesperson, Les Rosenblatt, questioned  the logic of  the Perth Jewish Community Council of WA reaction: “Does this community  feels so isolated that that it has to circle its wagons in fear of permanent siege from within as well as from without?”, he asked.

If true as alleged, the JCCWA putting pressue on  the Kulcha venue to prevent the staging of this play by Amnesty was foolishly censorious, the AJDS contended.  Seven Jewish Children: a play for Gaza had been performed in the Australian  Jewish community annual scholar’s conference , Limmud Oz, held in June in Sydney,  and in various places in Israel  without any problems, Rosenblatt noted. “This ban seems to be evidence of a state of acute but very misguided anxiety” he said. Other Jewish communities, Rosenblatt pointed out have been stimulated to serious soul-searching and debate by the powerful mini-drama, but it appears  the WA community will sadly have none of this, to its own detriment.

The AJDS was wondering if the play’s lines “tell her not to be sorry for them, tell her we’re the ones to be sorry for, tell her they can’t talk suffering to us” had prompted the act of censorship. “Whatever the explanation”, Rosenblatt continued, “our group,  which over the last 25 years has been campaigning against the suppression  of  legitimate   Jewish voices, deplores such self-defeating ostrich-like defensiveness”.

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