TV, film directors join Ariel theater boycott


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Dozens of Israeli movie and TV figures joined the boycott of a new theater in a Jewish West Bank city of Ariel.

Months ago, Israeli theater artists and academics initiated the boycott of the new theater and cultural center, saying performers had the right to refuse to perform in the Jewish West Bank city.

"Together with you we will stand up for our civil rights and moral duty to express our opinion and to act according to our political positions and our conscience, and therefore to try and influence the future of the State of Israel," read the online petition signed by prominent Israeli directors.

Last week, Israeli Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat proposed requiring state-supported Israeli theater companies to require actors to perform in any Israeli venue, including in West Bank settlements, in order to retain their government funding. The Beersheba Theater company performed at the center’s official opening last week. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the boycott at Sunday’s weekly Cabinet meeting, saying, "Someone that considers himself a person of culture should not need to get involved with boycotts."

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