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Dozens of Artists Want Israel-Backed Play at Lincoln Center Canceled

Image: Dozens of Artists Want Israel-Backed Play at Lincoln Center Canceled
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By    |   Thursday, 06 Jul 2017 11:03 AM

More than 60 artists penned an open letter asking that the Lincoln Center shut down an Israel-backed play, citing "grave concerns" that "one of the world's leading cultural institutions" is helping to promote "Brand Israel."

"To the End of the Land," presented July 24-27, is produced by two Israeli theaters and is based on a 2008 novel about a mother's hike in the Galilee over worry for her son, according to The New York Times.

"Brand Israel" is a public relations campaign by the country to improve its image, the Times reported.

The indignant artists, Pulitzer-Prize winners, actors and playwrights among them, usually defenders of the arts, argue that Israel's politics and "violent colonization" of Palestinians should not earn them the stage at the Lincoln Center.

"It is deeply troubling that Lincoln Center, one of the world’s leading cultural institutions, is helping the Israeli government to implement its systematic 'Brand Israel' strategy of employing arts and culture to divert attention from the state's decades of violent colonization, brutal military occupation and denial of basic rights to the Palestinian people," they wrote in the letter.

"We call on Lincoln Center to avoid complicity with Brand Israel by canceling these performances."

Lincoln Center president Debora Spar rebuffed the letter — "We will not be canceling it."

"As a cultural and education organization, however, we are committed to presenting a wide variety of artistic voices and trust that the art we bring can stand on its own," Spar said in a statement, the Times reported.

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More than 60 artists penned an open letter asking that the Lincoln Center shut down an Israel-backed play, citing "grave concerns" that "one of the world's leading cultural institutions" is helping to promote "Brand Israel."
israel, artists, lincoln center, new york
251
2017-03-06
Thursday, 06 Jul 2017 11:03 AM
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