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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 8, 2009 / 14 Nissan 5769

Caryl Churchill: Loving to hate Israel

By Richard Z. Chesnoff


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I went to hear a reading of acclaimed British playwright Caryl Churchill's hyper-controversial "Seven Jewish Children - a play for Gaza". It was presented by the ever adventurous New York Theatre Workshop at its cavernous East 4th Street theater. The actual reading - which lasted barely eight minutes - was extremely well done and was followed by a lively audience participation discussion hosted the night I attended by literary luminary Mark Crispin Miller. For the most part, the audience discussion was more than civil - and given the number of would be playwrights present and eager to talk about themselves, at times even slightly boring.


So what's the big stink? It's in the very nature and tone of Ms Churchill's latest creation, a blatant attempt to use drama to spew forth her own very one sided, super narrow Mideast political perspective and then call it "art".


Churchill has never made a secret of where she stands on the Mideast conflict. She is vocally, ardently pro-Palestinian and decidedly anti-Israeli (or as one of the theater's spokespeople told me "she's really just anti-Zionist" - - as if that made it kosher). Her new play consists of a supposed stream of consciousness dialogue among a handful of fictional Jewish and then Israeli parents who debate just what to tell or not tell a little Jewish girl at various moments of modern Jewish history - from Nazi pogroms to Israel's birth to the recent battles in Gaza. The moment the abbreviated time span reaches the beginnings of a reborn Jewish state, the characters become increasingly repulsive, boorish interlopers. The final lines of the Gaza war mini-sequence contain Churchill's ultimate punches. As she portrays it, the once oppressed have become the true oppressors, the once weak are now the super strong, the "chosen people" as they refer to themselves, are merciless by choice, immoral haters, bloodthirsty.


"Tell her there's dead babies, did she see babies? tell her she's got nothing to be ashamed of. Tell her they did it to themselves. Tell her they want their children killed to make people sorry for them, tell her I'm not sorry for them, tell her not to be sorry for them, tell her we're the ones to be sorry for, tell her they can't talk suffering to us. Tell her we're the iron fist now, tell her it's the fog of war, tell her we won't stop killing them till we're safe, tell her I laughed when I saw the dead policemen, tell her they're animals living in rubble now, tell her I wouldn't care if we wiped them out, the world would hate us is the only thing, tell her I don't care if the world hates us, tell her we're better haters, tell her we're chosen people, tell her I look at one of their children covered in blood and what do I feel? tell her all I feel is happy it's not her....'


Churchill's defenders see her mini-play (really more of a poem) as legitimate theater, the political drama of a playwright entitled to a singular perspective. Others. Like The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg see "Seven Jewish Children" as little more than agit-prop with some decidedly dangerous echoes of classic anti-Semitic blood-libel . I'd agree with Goldberg.


In fact, while it is arguably political drama , I am puzzled how anyone would see it as pure art - especially when it deals with so complicated an issue as the Mideast conflict. Indeed, why choose to comment on this most recent phase of the decades old conflict by restricting it to a supposed discussion between Jewish/Israeli parents, especially repulsive one who are far from representative of Israeli parents who generally preach peace to their children - not war.


More to the point, why examine the Gaza battles and totally ignore the supposed thoughts of Palestinian Gaza parents who allow their children to be systematically taught to hate Christians as well as Jews, whose children are told that there must never, ever be peace with Israelis, whose children are exhorted from toddlership that there is no higher Palestinian goal than to strap an explosive belt around one's waist and then venture forth to murder as many Jewish men, women and children as possible.


The answer is because Ms Churchill, like her Hamas friends, is not interested in promoting true Mideast peace. I don't believe she's even that interested in defending all those hapless Palestinians she claims to identify with (she has forfeited any claim to royalties for this play in exchange for audience contributions to Palestinian medical welfare).


What interests her most, like a dangerously increasing number of left wing Britons, is to strike out at Israelis and Israeli actions, and in doing so to question the Jewish state's very validity. In the end, Churchill has produced a let's-hate-the-Israelis piece of political propaganda disguised as avant-garde drama.


Her work is a sad reflection of a growing tendency among "progressive intellectuals" here as well as abroad not merely to criticize specific Israeli government policies - their perfect right, even obligation - but to openly challenge Israel as such, to challenge its very right to exist as a Jewish state more than 60 years after its renaissance was ratified by the vast majority of the family of nations.


Indeed, it is increasingly chic in supposedly intellectual circles to claim "I'm not anti-Semitic, I'm merely anti-Zionist".


If that means "I disagree with certain Israeli government policies" - than calling oneself "an anti-Zionist", is a dangerous misnomer. Lord knows most of the people of Zionist Israel sharply disagree with their government's policies at one time or another. However, if by "anti-Zionist" one questions Israel's very legality, then this Zionist would argue the term is nothing more than a camouflage for anti-Semitism: it is denying to Jews the right that all nations have to a home on their ancestral land, even if, as in the case of Israel, they must share that land with another people that clearly doesn't want to share it.


Like so many who now proudly define themselves as "anti-Zionists", Caryl Churchill simply loves to hate Israel. And that ain't art.

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JWR contributor and veteran journalist Richard Z. Chesnoff was Senior Correspondent at US News & World Report, and is now a columnist at the NY Daily News and the Huffington Post. A two-time winner of the Overseas Press Club Award and a recipient of the National Press Club Award, he was formerly executive editor of Newsweek International. The paperback edition of his critically acclaimed book, "Pack of Thieves: How Hitler & Europe Plundered the Jews & Committed the Greatest Theft in History" is now on sale. (Click on cover above to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.

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