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Naharin, subject of the 2015 documentary film Mr. Gaga, is undoubtedly a compelling figure: at once a demanding, maybe even sociopathic, taskmaster to his dancers; a beloved creative genius; and an outspoken critic of the Israeli government and the occupation. That said, there were protestors outside the theater with signs reading “Don’t dance around apartheid” and “Batsheva out of step with justice,” part of the BDS campaign to boycott Israeli artists who receive funding from the state, even those who are sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, as a measure against “white-washing” the realities of the occupation. In 2016, Naharin responded to a question about the cultural boycott with, “I often say that if boycotting my company can help the Palestinian people, I would boycott my own show, and the day we’ll have a peace treaty with the Palestinians will be the happiest day of my life.”

Publish Date: 

July 12, 2018

Journalist Name: 

Maia Ipp

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