Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Seven (non) Jewish Children

Caryl Churchill, a British lady who undoubtedly gets her news from the Guardian, has written a play titled Seven Jewish Children. She published it even as the Gaza operation was underway, and it is being performed at London's Royal Court Theatre. The Lede, a New York Times blog, has a round up of various responses to it so far; some think it's antisemitic, others think not. Ms Churchill herself states near the end of the text that
Caryl Churchill has asserted her moral right to be identified as the author of this work
which, you'll just have to pardon me for saying, is really funny.

Someday, as I've already say, I ought to write a book titled "How to Tell an Antisemite" (meaning how to recognize one, and how to tell it, gently, that that's what it is, without hurting its feelings). At the moment my excuse not to is that I have to make a living. However, if anyone would like to support me for, say, a year or so, then my excuse might have to be that I'm probably not enough of a masochist to immerse fully in this filth. Still, if it's in a good cause... Nah. A futile cause.


von Oskopia Kaleid said...

It is a simple boaring mechanism. Rewrite this play, ... say, tell him, that his brother will go to heaven, ... . And go on over 3 sides. Use copy and paste as often as you can.

It's not Antisemitism, it's just sentimentalism.

Anonymous said...

High-quality plays have the ability to explore complex subjects and discover interesting things about them - especially the fact that what seems "black and white" on the surface is not always "black and white." In high-quality plays, "deep" characters face painful dilemmas and we ache for them as they try to steer their way through the problems that they face.

Low-quality political plays are just rabble-rousing propaganda, putting nonsensical rants into the mouths of characters that are prejudiced caricatures. This particular propaganda piece was evidently written as a vehicle to attack Israel and push for donations to Palestinian groups. "Don't tell her she doesn't belong here"? Caryl Churchill evidently thinks Israel has no right to exist and that Jews have no right to defend themselves when constantly attacked - or at least we have no right to do so effectively.

This play is probably anti-Semitic, in the sense that it represents more of the "blood libel" and conspiracy theories about Israel and Jews that increasingly permeate the far left today.

The play is also just poorly done propaganda masquerading as art.

"Xyz has asserted her moral right to be identified as the author of this work" is apparently standard copyright language for certain types of works in the UK. The words sound ridiculous, but they aren't her words.


joseph said...

Dr. Lozowick,

David Mamet wrote a book on anti-semitism in which he said that to explain it was to justify it. I think it may be the same with identifying anti-semites. They may or may not know who they are, but once we start identifying them, they begin justifying themselves.


Yaacov said...

Joe - I once wrote a book about the SS which tried to explain, but certainly didn't justify in any way. The danger is there, and is very real, but if you're careful it can be avoided.

Anonymous said...

I've heard once an audio version of a Caryl churchill play and remember it as having been unfortunately very very good - let's hope that on stage with this play she is lousy
unfortunately yesterday I found that a Rachel-Corrie-Fan-Outfit in New York is interested

Anonymous said...

oops - here's the link to the above bad news
rgds, Silke

Anonymous said...

You don't need to write a book for this one Yaacov. The title kinda gives it away a bit, and the blatant storyline that generations of Jewish parents tell lies to their their kids isn't exactly easy to miss.

It's the comments that get me. How many of the rancid bigots there claim to have Jewish friends. That line is so old. Then there's the characters who try & get off on a technicality; arabs are semitic too & they only hate jews so they can't be anti-semitic. Lovely.