Callow, pampered luvvies everywhere were cock a’ hoop to hear that other callow, pampered luvvies had announced a boycott of Ariel Theatre which is localed in one of the principle Israeli Settlements on the West Bank.
The letter, addressed to the boards of the Cameri, Habima, Beit Lessin, Khan and the Haifa and Beersheba theatres, read: “We wish to express our disgust with the theater’s board’s plans to perform in the new auditorium in Ariel. The actors among us hereby declare that we will refuse to perform in Ariel, as well as in any other settlement. We urge the boards to hold their activity within the sovereign borders of the State of Israel within the Green Line.”
I am not axiomically opposed to private individuals in Israel giving the cold-shoulder to Settlement products and services; as long as they give more thought than checking where their bread comes from, or taking a detour so not to drive across the cursèd territory. We each are puritanically responsible for our own moral standing in society and, barring anarchy, there will always be some degree of submission to the power of the State (as it should be).
Luvvies, however, are a different matter. I go to my butcher for meat, apothocary for medicine, library for books, newsagent for newspapers. Luvvies and other artists are there for entertainment, and I do not take my cues on parenting from Auberon Waugh or gender politics from William Golding any more than I would seek political advice from their bunch (not even Ian Anderson’s masterful “fuck off you maniacs” to the pro-boycott crowd).
Furthermore a meaningful boycott requires personal effort and commitment beyond forgoing a few luxury items or services which easily be obtained from elsewhere. Anything less is like giving up chocolate at Lent.
For a meaningful boycott of Ariel Theatre, I would expect the luvvies in question to ensure any of their productions are not being staged by companies which otherwise accept the theatre, or that their companies were not working alongside Ariel Theatre when they were not present.
True commitment would be indicated by being willing to forego a contract of employment or royalties. If that were not so, it would be in danger of being an empty gesture. If I donate all my wages to charity, I cannot then demand a 100% pay-rise.
After announcing their ‘boycott’, the luvvies were congratulated by 150 American arteests:
The American signatories include Cynthia Nixon, who plays Miranda on “Sex and the City”; Mandy Patinkin, who played Inigo Montoya in “The Princess Bride”; and character actor and writer Wallace Shawn, who played the principal in “Clueless.”
Who? I mean, seriously, who?
But, wait, this is not enough for some. Ella from It’s Complicated reproduces a statement from PACBI, or the Palestinian Campaign for Judenrein Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel. (I will not link to their webpage, if only to impress on them the unacceptable nature of their using Zionist-developed PhP.)
“While we welcome acts of protest against any manifestation of Israel’s regime of colonialism and apartheid, we believe that these acts must be both morally consistent and anchored in international law and universal human rights. First, we believe that the exclusive focus on settlement institutions ignores and obscures the complicity of all Israeli academic and cultural institutions in upholding the system of colonial control and apartheid under which Palestinians suffer. PACBI believes there is firm evidence of the collusion of the Israeli academic and cultural establishment with the major oppressive organs of the Israeli state. Focusing solely on obviously complicit institutions, such as cultural centers in a West Bank colony, serves to shield mainstream Israeli institutions from opprobrium or, ultimately, from the growing global boycott movement that consistently targets all complicit institutions.”
Shurely shome mishtake? Surely PACBI is not a bunch of political psychopaths who exist only to punish and ostracise one nation group above all others? Whilst using Zionist-developed PhP.
And, Iain Banks still can get to Forfar.