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Excerpts: Israeli theater. King Hussein,a leader of principle

Monday, November 14, 2016 16:43
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Excerpts: Israeli theater. King Hussein,a leader of principle dedicated to
his people November 14, 2016

+++SOURCE: Naharnet (Lebanon)14 Nov,’16:”Israeli Theater Takes Center Stage
after Settlement Show”,by Agence France Presse

SUBJECT: Israeli theater

QUOTE:” ’we came to see theater ,not talk politics’ “

FULL TEXT:A performance by Israel’s national theater company in an
emblematic Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank has drawn praise from
the right-wing government and sharp criticism from its detractors.

On Thursday[10 Nov] night, the Habima Theater took to the stage for the
first time in Kiryat Arba located near the flashpoint Palestinian city of
Hebron, where a few hundred settlers live under army protection.

The area is regularly the scene of violence between Israeli soldiers and
Palestinians.

Around 400 people from Kiryat Arba and nearby Jewish communities showed up
for the performance, including smartly dressed women and many men who
carried arms.

Israel’s Culture Minister Miri Regev, who has been at war with much of
Israel’s cultural elite since taking the role in 2015, sat jubilantly at the
front row.

“This performance tonight is a revolution, a historic moment for the Israeli
theater and better late than never,” said Regev, one of the most outspoken
members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party.

“I’m glad that this theater has not yielded to pressure and I promise you
many other nights like these in Judea and Samaria,” the minister said to
applause, using the Israeli name for the West Bank.

Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967 in a move the international community
considers illegal.

More than 400,000 Israelis now live in West Bank settlements, despite
continuous condemnation from global powers who see settlement building as
one of the largest obstacles to peace with the Palestinians.

Rightwing Israelis say the settlements should be treated the same as any
other part of Israel, while leftwingers say that amounts to recognizing an
illegal occupation.

Parts of Israel’s cultural elite have put up fierce resistance to the
national company performing in Kiryat Arba — which more than any other
signifies the settlement movement.

Habima has occasionally performed in settlements before but Kiryat Arba has
a particularly controversial reputation.

Among its former residents is Baruch Goldstein, who in 1994 entered a Hebron
mosque and shot dead 29 worshipers.

- ‘A simple story’ -

Tension had mounted in the weeks leading up to the performance.

On Thursday[10 Nov], Breaking the Silence, one of Israel’s most prominent
anti-occupation NGOs, organized a tour of Hebron with actors who had refused
to perform on stage, Israeli media reported.

These actors told the Israeli press they had been forced by Habima’s
leadership to give up one-third of their salaries to pay for their
replacements.

Shlomi Bertonov, one of the actors, wrote in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz
they refused to take part in the performance and “play Miri Regev’s game.”

Regev has called for an end to public funding of cultural institutions
considered hostile to Israel.

Thursday’s[10 Nov] play, based on Israeli Nobel literature laureate Shai
Agnon’s book “A Simple Story”, depicted the trials and tribulations of a
small Jewish community in eastern Europe.

Habima director Odelia Friedman told Israeli public radio the settlers had
as much right to access government-subsidized culture as other Israeli
citizens.

But veteran actor-director Oded Kotler disagreed.

“When we say the nation, Israel, or ‘national’ this does not include the
occupied territories,” he told public radio.

“By carrying out a so-called purely cultural activity in these places, we
are intensifying the suffering of others, which has been going on for years
and years and actually prevents us from making peace.”

Residents, however, stressed it was about culture, not politics.

“There is never anything cultural happening here, but we also want to be
able to go to the show near us,” said Yudith Weinstein, who like many in the
area is of Russian descent.

“Tel Aviv is far away and we do not care that this company is considered
leftist,” she said. “We came to see theater, not talk politics.”

+++SOURCE: Jordan Times 14 Nov,’16:”Jordan remembers King Hussein

SUBJECT: King Hussein, a leader of principle dedicated to his people

AMMAN — Jordan today marks the 81st anniversary of the birth of His Majesty
the late King Hussein.

On the occasion, His Majesty King Abdullah on Sunday received cables from
senior officials and officers, according to a Royal Court statement.

HRH Crown Prince Hussein also received similar cables on the occasion.

The officials paid tribute to King Hussein and his dedication to Jordanians
and to building the country’s national institutions, which made it a model
in the region and the world.

King Hussein died at the age of 63 on February 7, 1999, following a battle
with cancer.

At the time of his death, King Hussein was the longest serving executive
head of state in the world.

A direct descendant of Prophet Mohammad, King Hussein was born on November
14, 1935, as the eldest son of King Talal and Queen Zein Al Sharaf.

He studied at the Islamic Scientific College and then enrolled at Victoria
College in Alexandria. In 1951, he entered Harrow College in England before
receiving his military education at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in
England, from which he graduated in 1953.

Hussein was proclaimed King of Jordan on August 11, 1952, and a Regency
Council was appointed until his formal ascension to the Throne on May 2,
1953, when he assumed his constitutional powers after reaching the age of
18, according to the Islamic lunar calendar.

Throughout his five-decade rule, he worked to raise the living standards of
his people, and during his reign the literacy rate rose dramatically.

He also sought to promote peace in the Middle East.

Enhancing joint Arab coordination was a priority for King Hussein, who
believed that resolving outstanding issues and conflicts between Arab
countries should be done through upholding the higher Arab interest and
believing in the common destiny of the Arab nation.

To mark the occasion, the University of Jordan’s (UJ) Centre for Strategic
Studies said in a statement that it will launch the “King Hussein Bin Talal
Chair”, which aims at attracting researchers and scholars who seek to study
the ideology of King Hussein and revive his memory among Jordanians in
general and UJ students in particular
===============
Sue Lerner – Associate, IMRA

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