Palestinian Solidarity Society criticised for staging an ‘antisemitic’ play

The play has been called “Jew-hating, pure and simple”

The Palestinian Solidarity Society have sparked outrage after staging a play widely described as “antisemitic”.

Seven Jewish Children, a play by British playwright Carolyn Churchill, has been condemned by a number of sources and has been called “Jew-hating, pure and simple” by the author Howard Jacobson.

The play was a joint production between the Antigone Collective and the Palestinian Solidarity Society (PSS) and was put on as part of Israeli Apartheid Week. The events officer of the PSS is none other than Jeremy Corbyn’s son, Tommy Corbyn, who is studying Electrical Engineering at York.

The University of York Jewish Society have today released a statement which reads as follows: “The Jewish Society condemns this event in the strongest possible terms. It contains reference to strong antisemitic tropes and reflects very poorly on the PSS. Seven Jewish Children is not a play about Israel.

“The words Israel, Israelis, Zionism and Zionist are not mentioned once in the play, while Jews and alleged Jewish behaviour is core throughout it.

“We are often told that when people talk about Israel or Zionists, it is mischievous to accuse them of meaning Jews. Now, we are expected to imagine that a play that talks only of Jews, in fact, means Israelis.”

As the statement continues, its focus moves away from the PSS and onto YUSU claiming that “what provides far greater worry for the Jewish Society is the lack of concern regarding antisemitism that is shown by the University of York Students’ Union.

“The Jewish Society reported the antisemitic content of the play hosted by PSS to YUSU at the earliest opportunity. YUSU responded explaining it does not operate a ‘no-platform’ policy and the event had been approved as it was deemed safe.

“This a classic, and awful, example of how Jewish concerns are treated with contempt by a student body that claims to have universal anti-racist values.”

Israel supporters opposed the event and handed out flyers around campus asking if the university “supports anti-semitic culture”.

Eran Cohen is a member of the Palestinian Solidarity Society and co-produced and acted in the play. He told The Tab: “The play is categorically not anti-Semitic, though it may be controversial.

“As a Jewish person, I looked at it closely when we began producing the play and consulted with trusted Jewish friends and family, including people whose parents and grandparents are Holocaust survivors and so are very sensitive to this issue.”

The event was part of the annual anti-Israel campaign organised by students across campuses in the UK.