After the theater figures who are boycotting the Ariel center sent a letter to Be’er Sheva Theater actors, encouraging their sensitivity to the cause, the Israeli Minister of Culture and Sports, Limor Livnat, defined the boycotters, on Monday, as ‘ignoramuses’. Limor Livnat talked in the ministry about the letter and called some of the members who signed it as ‘anarchists’ or ‘unsuccessful”.
She also declared that the letter constitutes a clear boycott against the Ariel cultural center.
‘When they say they won’t perform in Ariel or enter Ariel, that is a boycott no matter how you write it,’ and she added, ‘I am using the word ‘boycott’. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.’
In the letter that was sent to Be’er Sheva theater actors, the artists who refused to perform in Ariel a month ago, stressed that the cultural center is not part of a common community, due to the fact that it was erected on occupied land.
‘Just several kilometers from the thriving and flourishing Ariel, Palestinians live in refugee camps, in harsh living conditions and without any basic human rights. Not only are they not entitled to see performances in Ariel, some of them have no access to running water,’ they added.
However, Israeli politicians, such as Livnat, have, in recent weeks, criticized this behavior, adding that ‘the residents of Ariel are equal citizens of Israel and are entitled to cultural rights just like anyone else in the country,’ Haaretz reported.
This last polemic comes just after some Israeli film and television artists signed an online petition supporting the right of actors to refuse to perform in the West Bank arts center.
“As Israeli citizens, the refusal of these theater actors to perform in Ariel, which is not within the borders of Israeli sovereignty, is a democratic right,’ they claimed.
Since the Ariel cultural center was opened early this month, a group of theatre actors refused to perform in it and they explained it as a way to prevent the legitimization and normalization of a reality which is illegal, that is, the construction of illegal settlements within the West Bank.