April 29, 2009

7 Jewish children: a play for Gaza

I just watched this again and the idea that it is antisemitic is so dishonest it's quite breathtaking that anyone can watch it and make that false allegation whilst keeping a straight face. The smearing of Caryl Churchill isn't a job for the hasbara flock, this is one for the hasbara professionals, seasoned smear merchants. And boy, have they been busy lately.

Most of the play dwells more on the legitimate fears of Jews before it moves to Palestine and finally to Gaza and the whole thing takes the form of argument, one parent arguing one thing, the other counter-arguing and yet the the play is accused of portraying Jews as this one thing, or that one thing, or the other one thing. How can that be if Jews are arguing different points? How are Jews portrayed in an unfavourable light when they are arguing different points most of which are not unfavourable?

The hasbara brigade has claimed that the title of the play, 7 Jewish children, is itself antisemitic then they have selected this or that line, distorted its meaning and then claimed that one distorted line to typify the whole play. But the title of the play is 7 Jewish children: a play for Gaza and it's that last bit that makes it antisemitic in the wacky world of hasbara.

I don't know what the copyright issues are here so watch it while it lasts and if you can't see it here go watch it at at the Guardian site.

As I watched this for the umpteenth time I was reminded of the old cliché that two Jews need three synagogues to accommodate all their opinions. If the cliché is true then Caryl Churchill has portrayed it excellently as her Jewish parents argue over what to tell their Jewish children. So where do the zionists get the idea that this play is a uniformly negative portrayal of the Jews? It was a short play, maybe they weren't paying attention. Surely they wouldn't falsely accuse people of antisemitism?


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