U.S. television, film artists join West Bank boycott


JERUSALEM (JTA) — More than 150 American television and film artists have signed a letter in support of an Israeli artists’ boycott of performing in the West Bank.

The letter, signed by American actors, writers and directors, was drafted and organized by the Jewish Voice for Peace organization.

Praising the "brave decision" by Israeli theater professionals not to perform in Ariel, the letter says "we salute our Israeli counterparts for their courageous decision."

"Most of us are involved in daily compromises with wrongful acts. When a group of people suddenly have the clarity of mind to see that the next compromise looming up before them is an unbearable one  — and when they somehow find the strength to refuse to cross that line  —  we can’t help but be overjoyed and inspired and grateful, " the letter says.

Signatories include actor Ed Asner of "Lou Grant" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"; Cynthia Nixon, Miranda on "Sex and the City"; actor Mandy Patinkin; playwright Tony Kushner, who wrote "Angels in America; and actor Theodore Bikel.

British artists also signed the petition.

More than 50 Israeli theater professionals signed a petition in late August saying that they will not perform in the new Ariel cultural center when it opens in November. The center, which cost more than $10 million, was built with public funds. Several major Israeli theaters are scheduled to stage productions there this year.

At least 150 Israeli academics and authors also threw their support behind the boycott.

Ariel is one of the largest Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

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