The point these artists are making is ludicrous on two levels. First, though the play is sponsored by Israel’s Office of Cultural Affairs, it’s an anti-war piece, not simple-minded cheerleading for the state of Israel. David Grossman, the author of the novel from which the play is adapted, lost his son Uri to fighting on the last day of Israel’s offensive in Lebanon in 2006. Since then, writes Judith Miller in Tablet magazine in her review of the play, “Grossman has become among the most outspoken Jewish Israeli voices against war and occupation. He has frequently protested the demolitions of houses in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.” Miller calls the piece “deeply pessimistic,” citing a disquieting image of a mother who stays constantly in motion because she fears that her son will be killed at war and she reasons that if military notifiers can’t find her to tell her of his passing, he can’t be dead. In one scene, Miller adds, the play makes it clear that it’s an act of “supreme insensitivity” toward a Palestinian taxi driver to tell him to drive an Israeli to a military registration, causing the driver to erupt in an “impassioned outburst” about his people’s plight.The real puzzler here isn't why the likes of Roger Waters, an Israel-despiser from waaay back, would wish to shut the thing down. It is why the Israeli government would want to pay for something that puts Israel in the worst possible light.
Now, that's dumb.