6 thoughts on “‘Chekhovian Resolution’: Donald Byrd Speaks on Israel-Palestine – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. It depends on the sort of the visionary. Uri Zvi Greenberg was a visionary, but not the sort with whom Arabs could work.

    Because of my work in the Occupied Territories, I became acquainted with many Palestinian artists, and as a Jewish studies expert I have often advised that for the most part Israeli and American Jews believe too many false things about Jewish history, the Holocaust and Palestine for any reasonable collaboration.

  2. @Joachim: have you advised or have you *been* advised that (…) Jews believe too many false things about Jewish history etc.?
    In any case, why does the fact that there are Jews who are bigots preclude the possibility to work with those who are not?

    @Richard: Apparently, in Palestinian society there is an artistic taboo against working with even the most progressive Israeli artists.
    That’s not entirely true, as demonstrated by Daniel Barenboim’s and Edward Said’s West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, and Emily Jacir’s work, which you yourself plugged a few days ago. But to the extent that such prejudices exist, they’re certainly deplorable.

  3. I wrote “for the most part.” I have vetted a few Israeli Jewish artists, and it really has not always been an issue of bigotry in all cases but has involved involved a stubborn tenacity with regard to falsehoods about Polish, Russian, Holocaust and Israeli history. I have yet to pass an Israeli movie script.

  4. @fiddler: I did think of the Diwan Orchestra as I wrote my post. But that’s a slightly different situation since I think the Palestinians don’t so much think of Barenboim as an Israeli, but rather as a Jew. And with Edward Said acting as Palestinian godfather, I think the project was given an imprimatur allowing Palestinians to participate. The problem with Byrd’s project fr. the Palestinian perspective is that he is working with an Israeli artist & there are no Palestinian dancers or other artists participating; & no Palestinian intellectuals/leaders giving a heksher to the project.

    I didn’t know Emily Jacir cooperated with Israeli artists. That’s good if she does.

  5. As far as I know, Emily Jacir has not collaborated with Israeli Jews although she may have collaborated with Israeli Jews without awareness of it.

    In “Sexy Semite” (2000 – 2002) she asked Palestinians in New York city to submit satirical personal ads to the Village Voice newspaper in a mock search for Jewish partners with whom they could return home via Israel’s “law of return,” applicable only to Jews. Jacir collaborated with strangers when she opened her studio to anyone who volunteered to sew a village name onto a refugee tent in “Memorial to 418 Palestinian Villages That Were Destroyed, Depopulated and Occupied by Israel in 1948.” (2001)

  6. I disagree with the statements of non-collaboration, as I’ve heard several Israeli songs featuring Palestinians mainly by HaDag Nachash and David Broza. Also Asalah sings in hebrew and while I’m not a fan she is a Druze Arab. I’m Half Lebanese and Iranian and have been reading your blogs for a while, they are very refreshing and its nice to know that peaceful human beings still exist. Shalom

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