Circus School calls on Cirque du Soleil not to perform in Israel
RAMALLAH – The Palestinian Circus School sent a letter to the General Management of Cirque du Soleil calling on it not perform in Israel, according to statement issued Monday. Cirque du Soleil is scheduled to perform in August.
“We do not take lightly calling for Cirque du Soleil, or any circus for that matter, to not perform in Israel, especially since we ourselves are totally committed to the art of circus and are committed to bringing the circus everywhere we can,” said the letter.
“However, for circus to be faithful to its art form, we are also unrelentingly committed to human rights. Thus, we write to request that Cirque du Soleil reconsider its planned performance in Israel, a military occupying power and violator of international law and human rights, and join other artists from around the world who have called on you to support human rights and the right of all people to be free from military occupation,” said the letter.
“Our kids and youth are oppressed by a prolonged military occupation and deprived of their most basic rights. Many are still recovering from Israel’s onslaught on the Gaza Strip, known as Operation Cast Lead in the winter of 2008-2009, which left 1385 Palestinian dead, of which 318 were minors, and another 5,300 wounded,” it said.
“Your visit to Israel will be fully facilitated by the Israeli authorities, at the time when our movement as students and artists of the Palestinian Circus School is permanently crippled by military law that denies us entry to Jerusalem, Jaffa, Akka, Haifa or Nazareth, not to mention the completely closed Gaza Strip,” added the letter.
“Those same Israeli authorities prohibit, by the use of force, our ability to participate in artistic performances or any exchange with our Palestinian friends and families in these areas. Not only do they limit our freedom of movement, they deport international circus artists who come to perform in Palestine, like the famous Spanish clown Ivan Prado, a prime example that received international attention,” it said.
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