Monday, March 23, 2015

  • Monday, March 23, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
How progressive!

A Sydney theatre has refused to rent its premises to a Jewish group on the grounds that their policy “does not support colonialism/Zionism”.

redrattler400In a brief email response to Shailee Mendelevich who wrote requesting to book the Red Rattler Theatre in Marrickville, ‘Red Rattler Team’ responded: “Our policy does not support colonialism/Zionism. Therefore we do not host groups that support the colonisation and occupation of Palestine.”

Mendelevich wrote to the theatre in her capacity as assistant director of Hillel at Sydney’s Shalom Institute. She told them in her letter that Hillel is not for profit organisation telling them “we have created a live storytelling series that features poetry, musicians and actors on stage, creating meaningful performances to educate the audience on the theme of the evening”.

She explained that Hillel “supports Jewish students and young adults.”

The matter was referred to The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies whose CEO Vic Alhadeff wrote to Red Rattler.

Alhadeff told J-Wire: ” I wrote a respectful letter to the theatre, saying I would like to discuss the matter in order to resolve misconceptions on the part of their team – about the organisation which had approached them and about the position of the Jewish community in regard to Palestine and about Israel itself. ”

He added in his communication to the theatre: “To categorically reject an approach by a Jewish organisation to hire your premises because of a political position that your team holds in relation to an overseas conflict is at best ill-informed and at worst racist and discriminatory.

Alhadeff told J-Wire: ” Despite several calls to the theatre with a request to discuss and resolve the matter and explain Hillel’s and the community’s position on these issues, I have received no response either to my letter or to several calls to the theatre.”

He added: “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.”
Nowhere in that Hillel's vision or mission statement is Israel even mentioned.

The subject of the performance was to understand what it means to be a third generation Holocaust survivor and how it impacts future generations.

Here is The Red Rattler's performer policy:
The Red Rattler was set up as a space where racism, homophobia, transphobia and sexism are not welcome on stage, in the audience, at the door, and at the bar.

We ask you to join us in efforts to make this space welcoming, stimulating, and happiness producing to people regardless of their ethnicity, sexuality or gender.

Sadly, it has become apparent that we need to be more explicit about what it means not to be racist.

Racism includes things such as blackface performance or being derogatory towards people on the basis of their race. Blackface performance is not permitted at The Red Rattler.

Taking a self reflexive approach to our own practices is part of anti-racist strategy. One way of testing our performances can be to ask ourselves - if the room is all persons of that ethnicity, am I confident that my show is not racist?
There you go! Since Palestinians are largely Holocaust-deniers, and Hamas sympathizers are very upset at the very mention of the murder of millions of Jewish people, they would be uncomfortable sitting in the audience of such a performance and therefore it violates the Red Rattler's expansive definition of racism!

It all makes perfect sense if you are a sickening, disgusting Jew-hater pretending to be liberal.

The people behind the theatre are proud to describe themselves as "rats." That moniker is richly deserved.

UPDATE: Of course, after this story hit the world media, the Rats decided that this didn't look good and now say they have no problem with Jews.




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