Churchill defends ‘anti-Semitic’ play
Saturday 21 February 2009
Caryl Churchill has defended herself against accusations of anti-Semitism after her play Seven Jewish Children caused uproar among Jews.
The play, on stage at the Royal Court Theatre, is billed as a 10-minute history of Israel. Through seven scenes – from the Holocaust to the Gaza bombing – adults debate how much a child should be told of events.
It drew criticism from the Board of Deputies of British Jews and from the author and Independent columnist Howard Jacobson. Mark Frazier, a Board of Deputies spokesman, said the play went beyond the boundaries of reasonable political discourse: “We knew the play was going to be horrifically anti-Israel because Caryl Churchill is a patron of the PSC [Palestine Solidarity Campaign].”
In The Independent, Jacobson said the work was anti-Semitic because it suggested the Middle East conflict was brewed up in the minds of Jews, depicting them as glorying in their separateness and superiority and revelling in child murder.
Churchill responded in a letter to The Independent today: “Howard Jacobson writes as if there’s something new about describing critics of Israel as anti-Semitic. But it’s the usual tactic. We are not going to agree about politics … But we should be able to disagree without accusations of anti-Semitism.”
The play was about the difficulties of explaining violence to children. Its length meant favourable and unfavourable information about Israel had been omitted, she said. “Jacobson seems to see the play from a very particular perspective so that everything is twisted … I don’t recognise the play from [his] description.”
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Licence fee: What is the BBC charge – and how will the changes affect you?
- 3 This is what the photographer has to say about the picture of a weasel riding a woodpecker
- 4 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'