Search

Tricycle Theatre refuses to host Jewish festival funded by Israeli embassy

12:22 06 August 2014

Indhu Rubasingham, artistic director of the Tricycle Theatre. Picture: Jane Hobson.

Indhu Rubasingham, artistic director of the Tricycle Theatre. Picture: Jane Hobson.

© Jane Hobson

The Tricycle Theatre has sparked controversy by refusing to host an annual Jewish film festival sponsored by the Israeli government in light of the current conflict between Hamas and Israel.

Jonathan Levy, chairman of the theatre in Kilburn High Road, e-mailed the organisers of the UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF) to inform them the theatre could not host this year’s festival unless it severed its funding ties with the Israeli embassy in London.

He said the “unforeseen and unhappy escalation” of violence in the Gaza Strip meant “The Tricycle cannot be associated with any activity directly funded or supported by any party to the conflict”.

The theatre has offered to provide “alternative funding to cover the loss of the contribution from the Israeli embassy” which the festival organisers have rejected.

Stephen Margolis, chairman of the UKJFF, said: “The Jewish community as a whole has enjoyed a successful relationship with the Tricycle and it is extremely saddening that they should look to politicise this festival by making demands that the UKJFF could never accept.”

The UKJFF, due to be held for the 18th time between November 6 and 23, was expected to hold at least 26 of it films at the Tricycle this year, as well as six gala events, and is now in the process of making alternative arrangements.

Organisers insist the festival, which has been sponsored by the Israeli embassy since its inception, is apolitical but portrays the “unmistakeable cultural connection between Jewish people and the State of Israel”.

Judy Ironside, UKJFF founder and executive director, said: “We have always sought to convey a wide perspective on the conflicts in the Middle East and initiate open dialogue with our audiences and guest speakers; and the Israeli embassy have always supported us in this. The Tricycle have refused to take this into account in their decision.”

Speaking yesterday, actress Maureen Lipman said: “The Tricycle Theatre under Nick Kent had a stunning history of truthful story telling. A great part of its support and its audiences came from the Jewish sector.

“We always knew that even if we disagreed with the message, we accepted that it came from a reasoned and balanced argument. Today that ceased.

“The Tricycle have decided to punish Jewish people in the diaspora for one view of what is taking place in the Middle East and that is quite unacceptable.”

Louise Jacobs, chief executive of the London Jewish Cultural Centre, said: “It’s always regrettable when politics clashes with culture and creates rifts in communities working hard to celebrate multiculturalism.”

Indhu Rubasingham, artistic director of the Tricycle, said: “We offered to provide alternative funding to cover the loss of the contribution from the Israeli embassy. We WANT the festival. Now, more than at any time, Jewish culture MUST be celebrated.

“The Tricycle serves many different communities and cultures and must navigate neutrality which is why it cannot directly be taking government money in this difficult time.

“However, the UKJFF decided it was not willing to decline sponsorship from the Israeli embassy and, to our regret, withdrew the festival from the Tricycle.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

00:01
An international poker player is locked in a row with his Highgate neighbour over a driveway. Picture: Nigel Sutton

An international gambler is locked in a row with his Highgate neighbour because his driveway belongs to the house next door – meaning he can’t legally access his own home.

Yesterday, 19:03
Thieves have been stealing post in the Frognal and Fitzjohns area of Hampstead

A gang has been stealing private school bills from doormats in Hampstead and doctoring them to make unwitting parents pay thousands of pounds into the fraudsters’ accounts, police have warned.

Yesterday, 18:38
Belsize Park Gardens

A terrified mother told how she was strangled until she lost consciousness and robbed in front of her two-year-old daughter.

Yesterday, 17:26
The Magdala. Picture: Polly Hancock

Hampstead’s world famous Magdala pub has closed its doors as its current landlords say they have been “unable to agree terms and conditions” on the lease with the company that owns it.

Yesterday, 16:37
Michael Otshudi, of Highgate, has been jailed for violent disorder

A 37-year-old from Highgate Village has been jailed after a man was shot at a wake for trying to break up a fight.

Yesterday, 13:31
Jonny (left) and Ruth Tamir (right) with Noam (centre)

A Belsize Park father has spoken of his pride after his son donated 61 per cent of his liver to save his life.

Yesterday, 12:56
Hodaya Mason (left) and Maryam (right) at an interfaith cultural exchange visit between the London Islamic Cultural Society at Haringey Mosque and Muswell Hill Synagogue

Muslim and Jewish women and girls came together to learn from one another’s culture and religion, with high hopes of kick-starting joint initiatives to help the refugee crisis.

Yesterday, 12:48
A  fire at a sheltered housing block in Belsize Park was apparently caused by a cigarette which had not been properly extinguished

A partially sighted man was led to safety by firefighters after a fire broke out in a sheltered housing block in Belsize Park yesterday evening.

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Champagne experience

This Valentine’s Day, the Coca-Cola London Eye is the perfect destination for lovebirds, offering a range of romantic experiences from Friday 12th February - Sunday 14th February 2016.

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe