Monday, March 23, 2015

Australian theater rejects Jewish act, cites ‘Zionism’

Sydney’s Red ­Rattler Theatre refuses Hillel request to book venue for stage play because of ‘occupation of Palestine’

By Times of Israel staff

An Australian theater rejected a booking from a Jewish cultural group for a series of performances, saying it did not not host groups supportive of “the colonization and occu­pation of Palestine.”

The Red ­Rattler Theatre in Marrickville in Sydney responded to a request by Hillel, a Jewish organization for students and young adults, to hire the venue for a series of performances, reportedly about the Holocaust, with an email reading: “Our policy does not support ­colonialism/Zionism. Therefore we do not host groups that support the colonization and occu­pation of Palestine.”

The incident has angered the local Jewish community.

“It’s sad to see an artistic group practise outright discrimination and, worse, impor­ting divisiveness based on conflicts taking place far from Australia. We ought to be able to get along and work with each respectfully, despite political views or differences of opinion, ” said NSW Jewish Board of Deput­ies chief executive Vic Alhadeff, according to The Australian.

Attempts to contact the theater to explain that Hillel was apolitical were unsuccessful, said Alhadeff.

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