Reservations over Israeli Policies Won’t Stop Ballet Troupe’s Performance

Maurice Bejart and his world famous ballet company of Lausanne will be coming to perform in Israel this summer, despite strong reservations over Israeli policies toward the Palestinians in the administered territories.

The 59-member dance group will present Bejart’s new ballet, “The Dybbuk,” at the Israel Festival.

Bejart stated in large advertisements in Israeli newspapers Monday that he and his dancers had long discussions over whether to present their scheduled performances in Israel because of the current situation in the territories.

They decided to come here “in order not to add to the current feelings of intolerance,” the advertisement said.

But it went on to quote a statement by Arian Menouchkin, whose Theatre du Soleil of Paris also cancelled and then re-instated its scheduled performances in Israel. The Paris troupe objected to the occupation of territory by force, to “the killing of children and unarmed civilians, and a nation that oppresses another.”

Bejart and his company said they agreed with their actor colleagues that “the Palestinian people, whose cause is just, were right to revolt against the Israeli occupation, and has an unimpeachable right to self-determination and to a Palestinian state, just as the state of Israel also has an unimpeachable right to exist here, in peace and security.”

By coming to Israel, the ballet troupe said, “we pay homage to all those in Israel — members of the Knesset, intellectuals, writers, artists, lawyers, journalists and citizens — who are tirelessly weaving, and have for decades been weaving, the fabric of peace which irresponsible leaders are bent on ripping apart.”

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