In recent years, Israeli Minister of Culture Miri Regev has vilified artistic institutions, like the Jaffa Theater, and even threatened to withdraw public funding. What was the theater’s crime? Giving voice to Palestinian narratives, producing stories about Jewish-Arab shared society and using art to critically engage with the challenges of Israeli society.
While Jewish and Arab artists work to keep their work from being shut down, artists and activists are mobilizing together in unprecedented ways. Lee Perlman has been at the forefront of this pushing back against the government’s campaign of intimidation.
Join J Street DC Metro, the New Israel Fund, the Foundation for Middle East Peace, Americans for Peace Now and Mosaic Theater for a breakfast conversation about the current state of the cultural battlefield in Israel, how it both threatens and strengthens democracy and how arts & culture are driving social change.
Lee Perlman, PhD., is a research fellow at the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research, Tel Aviv University. Perlman is a contributing author to the anthology Acting Together: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict and wrote “Arab-Jewish Youth Encounters: Impact over Time”. In 2013, Ha’aretz named Perlman as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Israeli Culture.” He has previously served as executive director of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and as director of grants and programs of the Abraham Fund Initiatives, an organization promoting shared society and equality. Perlman has recently published “But Abu Ibrahim, We’re Family!”: a series of case studies, which describes collaborations of Jewish and Palestinian professional theater artists in Israel, creating theater about their realities. It analyzes the socio-political and socio-cultural significance of four “joint productions” — collaborative professional theater productions by Jewish and Palestinian citizens of the State of Israel between the years 2000 and 2010.