Wed. Nov 21 2018

Watch: Norwegian National Theatre boycotts Israel

Sep 27 2016

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Decrease font Norwegian actors announced said Israel is apartheid state, apologised for previous performance in Israel and adopted BDS. In a six-minute video, the Spokeswoman of the National Theatre of Norway Gjertrud Synge apologises on behalf of the playhouse for collaborating with HaBima, the National Theatre of Israel between 2013 and 2015. “This is a great day for the National Theatre of Norway,” she says, “It is the day when we publicly apologise for our shameful collaboration with HaBima, the national theatre of Israel.” On Thursday, the video was uploaded on YouTube and went viral on mass media platforms on the internet. Referring to the previous collaboration between the two theatres, Synge said that when National Theatre of Norway agreed to collaborate with the Israeli, the Norwegian did not know “what a powerful role HaBima and other Israeli art institutions play in normalising the Israeli occupation.” She described the Israeli art a “tool” for building an image of “a humanistic nation” instead of an “apartheid state.” Citing the Israeli offensive on Gaza during in 2012, Synge said: “Five hundred Palestinian children lost their lives while HaBima was busy entertaining Israeli soldiers.” At the end of the video, the actress announced that the Norwegian playhouse had adopted the BDS and would dedicate all means of production to “work with the situation in the Middle East” from 2017 to 2019. Israel’s fury The video aroused the anger of the Israeli officials as the Israeli foreign ministry accused the actors who prepared the work of “hypocritically hiding behind the guise of freedom of speech.” It strongly criticised the video, saying: “This disinformation clip is reminiscent of the works of the Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels or the Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl.” Then, it called on the Norwegian theatre, “in whose name the libellous statements were made, to clearly and immediately repudiate them as well as to take the necessary measures to have the video removed from every site.”

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