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New Zealand Festival Apologizes for Removing ‘Israel’ from Joseph Musical Lyrics

The Times of Israel reports: New Zealand production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” sponsored by a local council has been forced to issue an apology to famed lyricist Tim Rice after removing “Israel” from the lyrics to one of the songs.

Festival organizers said they were doing so to keep things simple for students who would be performing, but did not explain why they found the word Israel in the play problematic. The substitution was discovered by Twitter user, Kate Dowling, who noted on Friday that in the song “Close Every Door,” the line “Children of Israel” had been replaced with “Children of kindness.”

She wrote to the Wellington city council and to Rice, one half of the famed musical writing team, together with Andrew Lloyd Webber, to ask for clarification.

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