This is the latest in my series “Good News Friday” where I like to bring some good news to take us into Shabbat.
This week the anti-Israel BDS-ers got a virtual kick in the teeth when their proposed boycott of Habima Theatre was rejected by London’s Globe Theatre. The Globe is holding an international Shakespeare festival, with theatres from 37 countries participating, each performing a play in their native tongue. There was even a theatre from “Palestine”. Out of all the countries participating, only Israel was singled out to be boycotted by the loony BDS brigade, because it has performed in (gasp!) Ariel.
Jewish actress Maureen Lipman was among the few actors who spoke out against the boycott, while the Independent had a sympathetic (for them) article about Habima, the actors and the boycott. As Ilan Ronen, Habima’s artistic said, echoing Maureen Lipman’s sentiments:
“We come to the Globe along with 37 countries and languages. And this is the only theatre, and the only language, that should be boycotted? Everything is OK in those other countries – no problem at all?
In any event, the boycott was a failure, and the expected attempted disruptions of the play were similarly an epic fail. The redoutable blogger and pro-Israel activist Richard Millett was at Habima’s performance and has written an excellent review of the play, the disruptions and the counter-protests.
I really enjoyed last night’s performance of Habima’s The Merchant of Venice at The Globe on the south bank of the River Thames on a beautiful summer evening in London.
The cast received a prolonged standing ovation at the end (see above). The Globe was the perfect setting with its open roof allowing you to peer into the ever darkening sky as the constant movement of small planes readied you for the inevitable interruptions.
My main concerns were whether I would follow a play in Hebrew and whether the interruptions would ruin the experience, but two small screens kept us nicely updated in English and The Globe’s security knew when to act and when not to.
Security removed protesters swiftly so limiting the disruption but they allowed a very weird protest, where six protesters stood silently on the first balcony for virtually the entire first half with their lips taped up, to proceed.
Read the whole thing and enjoy the video clips and photos that Richard posted as well. Kol hakavod to Richard and all the pro-Israel activists who took part in the counter-boycott and protests. Kudos too to the Globe Theatre for not bowing under pressure from the boycotters, and for going the extra mile in providing excellent security.
The other piece of good news is on a much more minor scale but is of great personal importance to me and my family. Our 8 year old granddaughter Noa took part in an inter-school quiz on the subject of the history and geography of cities and towns in Israel. She was one of the youngest participants and won 3rd prize! We are very proud of her.
The quiz was moderated by the Israeli media personality and Hebrew language expert Avshalom Kor; entertainment was provided by a boys’ choir and the girls’ recorder orchestra. A great time was had by all, including children, parents, grandparents, teachers and local education officials.
Here is a video of Noa answering one of the questions: In which tribe’s “nachala” (division of Eretz Yisrael) are Shechem and Beer Sheva. Answers: Efraim (or Menashe depending on whom you ask, and Shimon respectively). Noa is sitting on the top tier, first on the right. (Apologies for the quality of the video. The lighting in the hall was not on, and the children were silhouetted by the sunlight through the windows).
And here is a clip of Noa receiving her prize:
We are swelling with nachas from her. Next stop Nobel Prize? :-)
Shabbat shalom to all my readers.