Wednesday, April 29, 2009

For Gaza? Honestly?

Seven Jewish Children - a Play for Gaza.

Now what could Gaza want with this play I wonder?

Someone in a haloscan somewhere "was struck by how powerful and moving it was". Yes.

The crazed, positively illiterate reactions of Jacobson and Goldberg of course incite one to defend the play from their absurd, cynical, malicious comments.

And that's a pity because the piece is not only anti-Semitic (in a distinctively British philoSemitic way) but, more disturbingly, contemptuously Orientalist, Eurocentric (racist) and Imperial-apologetic. And of course a very competent piece of theatre. Engaging, moving and entertaining.

Did the British public really need yet another piece of deft kitsch of this sort, another compelling statement of the comfortingly familiar white British viewpoint which shoves Palestinians to the barely glimpsed margins of their own calamities, reduces them to silhouettes loping along the background horizon on camels and bloodied corpses flashed on television, while preferring to examine (as foil for its own righteous self) the endlessly fascinating collective psyche of an AngloAmerican-mass-culture-produced Jewish Tribe as the ultimate Type of victim-perpetrator, a compelling figure of traumatised imperialist, and to remind us that history arrived in Palestine with European Zionists in the early 20th century? “For Gaza”, yet another solemn account of how terribly some previous incarnations, less ancestors than earlier avatars of the Type, of the agents of white supremacist imperialism besieging and bombarding it once suffered? Gaza needs yet another reiteration of how really the Middle East came under European imperial domination and so remains because of some anguished parental protectiveness taken to extremes? Another acknowledgement that the path to Palestinian Liberation must lie through the therapeutic mass psychoanalysis and cure of the only true protagonist of Palestinian history: "The Jewish People", that is, generations of identically loving parents of little girls?

“For Gaza” yet another touching tale of the psychic pain and terror endured by the European overlords? “For Gaza” a play about the eternally well meaning compassionate innocent inheritor of expropriated wealth and land, a parade of little harmless helpless girl children, hiding from Cossacks, orphaned by Nazis in Europe, cherished by refusenik cousins in Israel? "For Gaza" another explanation of how all the propaganda fables under which Palestinian history is obscured - here on stage yet again - have been concocted to protect the ignorant naivety of a vulnerable little girl, to keep this innocent of genteel civilisation from being frightened? “For Gaza” yet another emphatic illustration that Palestinian suffering is endowed with what little significance it has – should it become too garish and bloody - only by the hazy disquieting reflections it leaves in the piquantly tormented psyche of this ordinary European family with its pretext children, giving rise to the familiar powerful poignant stories - so familiar they can be fully conveyed in this abbreviated way (the entire genre of Holocausterie transmitted by "don’t tell her what they did”) - that English people tell their children and their theatre audiences?

(I suppose it is what one expects of a British playwright whose Romania of 1989 hosts vampires and whose "critique" of British colonialism consists of a sex farce set in that old reliable "unspecified African country".)


  1. Anonymous5:05 AM

    The white English (or American) colonial settler confessing s/he'd "never have come had s/he known" Palestine was inhabited is quite something.

  2. Anonymous5:18 AM

    And the cheezy Lacanian gimmick doesn't clear anything up by installing the fantasy of an audience enjoying the intellectual, informational and moral status of a defenceless female infant tabula rasa hiding under floorboards from racist murderers. - LCC

  3. Anonymous9:28 AM

    "Tell her that he was killed for writing that Palestine was a land filled with people".