This week, one of the news reports that struck me the hardest was not of violence or arrests: it was of Israel deciding to close down a Palestinian children’s theatre festival set to take place this coming Saturday at El Hakawati Theatre in East Jerusalem. The explanation was a nonsensical compilation of words referring back to Oslo and the PA and technicalities and amounting to this: Israel is choosing to shut down a Palestinian children’s theatre festival.
The cruelty and complete unnecessariness of this act has been sitting with me all week. Yesterday, I wrote and performed this poem as an act of protest.
There will be a number of public actions in West Jerusalem over the next few days, and Israeli actors and artists have been circulating petitions telling the government to reverse this outrageous decision. Maybe with enough noise, this craziness will be reversed.
Update: The government did not reverse its decision. The festival did not take place.
Also: Video of the poem performed at a demonstration against the closing: