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Simon Wiesenthal Center Denounces ‘Israel-Bashing’ Romeo And Juliet Play

The Times of Israel reports: A new adaptation of William Shakespeare’s famous play Romeo and Juliet was denounced by the Simon Wiesenthal Center for its perceived “Israel-bashing.”

The play, currently in previews at Theatricum Botanicum in California’s Topanga Canyon, is set in contemporary East Jerusalem and includes uniformed Israeli soldiers lording over Palestinians. In the play, a character depicting an Israeli soldier executes an unarmed Palestinian woman at close range.

“Shakespeare’s classic love story has been hijacked to demonize the State of Israel,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Jewish NGO’s associate dean, said in a statement. “We do not believe in censorship, but this production has degraded a classic play into a heavy-handed, anti-Israel propaganda platform.”

“As currently staged, Romeo and Juliet is a ‘lose-lose’ proposition,” Cooper continued. “The play loses, the public loses and the truth loses. The genius of Shakespeare should be used to illuminate the human condition and promote understanding of issues, not the distortion of reality,” he concluded.

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