An organization calling itself Citizens Opposed to Propaganda Masquerading as Art (COPMA) has called on the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Jewish Federation to reconsider its funding of a local theater that has put on anti-Israel plays.
“It is critical that the Federation establish guidelines for withholding funding from partner agencies that engage in political propaganda and activism denigrating Israel and undermining its legitimacy as a strong, secure and independent Jewish State,” said COPMA in a letter to Susie Gelman, president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.
COPMA was referring specifically to Theater J, a playhouse that has “become a platform for political activism that expresses hostility and antipathy towards the State of Israel and little regard for its security,” according to the letter.
COPMA’s message was in stark contrast to the letters to the editor published yesterday in the Washington Jewish Week, a newspaper with close ties to the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. Recently, the WJW has been criticized for allegedly allowing the federation to exert control over its editorial content.
“While members of the Jewish community may not agree with the messaging in every production at Theatre J, it is critical that in a community as diverse as ours, everyone’s opinion be heard,” wrote Jocelyn B. Krifcher in one letter. “I call upon my fellow community members to stand behind and support the good work that our Federation does here in the Greater Washington area, in Israel and around the world.”
In another letter, Washington resident Alfred Munzer defended one of Theater J’s anti-Israel plays, saying that it “demonstrates that Israel is a democratic, open society that encourages confronting difficult and painful issues.”
For more information on Theater J’s controversial performances, check out this earlier post.