Saturday, 22 February 2020

Tom Stoppard’s first Jewish play leaves Zionism offstage

My latest at Patheos: 

There've been plenty of rave reviews for Sir Tom Stoppard's new West End play 'Leopoldstadt' but they've all left out the most interesting aspect - its lack of Zionism.

So here's my non-Zionist reviewer's take on the production which I saw this week.

EXTRACT: "Jewish 20th century history is so often presented as one long justification for the project of Jewish national renewal. It’s a narrative which today dominates mainstream Jewish community life and deeply influences political attitudes towards Israel by Western countries. So it was curious to see such a major artistic telling of Jewish experience leaving Zionism offstage. I expected to see it waiting in the wings as a potential redemptive finale or at the very least an answer to the human costs of being Jewish. Instead, Stoppard chooses his own tragic reading of the Jewish predicament keeping his characters locked within their own family tragedy." 

Read the full post at Patheos 

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Orla Guerin’s report shows what’s wrong with Holocaust remembrance

My latest blog post is published at Patheos 

As we begin what could be a highly significant week for Israel/Palestine, here are my extended thoughts on the controversy surrounding the Orla Guerin BBC report and what it says about how we remember the Holocaust. Here's an extract:

"The undeniable truth is that Palestinians are part of the post Holocaust story too. Their history and current situation cannot be separated from Auschwitz any more than the Jewish story can. In fact, they have become the same story because the Palestinians paid the price for Europe’s failures and the rest of the world’s indifference. What’s really offensive is the attempt to disconnect the relationship between these two peoples. Whether we like it or not, we are now bound together in our post Holocaust experience."