Oscar-Winner Emma Thompson Supports Israeli Boycott

Cinema's Nanny McPhee is up in arms at the thought of an Israeli theater group performing at the upcoming Cultural Olympiad event.

Emma Thompson, best known of late for playing the unfortunate looking nanny in two British kiddie films, added her name to the list of British performers who want to keep Habima, Israeli's National Theater Company, from being part of next month's cultural event.

The invitation to the Israeli company had already raised concerns of disruption in the manner of the anti-Israel protests during the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra's Proms performance last year. In January activists from Boycott From Within, formed by Israelis who back the boycott movement, urged Globe directors to stop the performance. The Globe said "active exclusion was a profoundly problematic stance to take."

Now 37 people have signed a letter calling for Israel to be removed from the roster, including the prominent Jewish anti-Israel activists Miriam Margolyes, David Aukin, Jonathan Miller and Mike Leigh. Also on the list is the star of the play "Jerusalem", Mark Rylance.

Writing that Habima should be boycotted because it had performed in Israeli settlements, the signatories said: "By inviting Habima, Shakespeare's Globe is undermining the conscientious Israeli actors and playwrights who have refused to break international law.

Other artists who have similarly embraced an Israeli boycott on political grounds include Roger Waters, Elvis Costello and Santana.


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