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Pro-Palestinian students perform 'antisemitic' play as part of Israel Apartheid Week

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    A pro-Palestinian student group co-run by the son of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, has performed a play widely described as antisemitic as part of Israel Apartheid Week.

    York University’s student Palestinian Solidarity Society staged two productions of "Seven Jewish Children - A Play for Palestine" on Thursday afternoon.

    Tommy Corbyn, who is studying electrical engineering at York, is the society’s events manager.

    The play, written by Caryl Churchill as a response to an Israeli attack on Gaza, was first performed in 2009. In seven short scenes, totalling only 10 minutes, it examines modern Jewish history.

    The JC’s theatre critic described the work as antisemitic, highlighting a moment when one Jewish character appears to be glorifying in Palestinian suffering.

    Author Howard Jacobson described it as “Jew-hating, pure and simple”.

    The play at York was a joint production by the Palestinian Solidarity Society and another group, the Antigone Collective.

    Israel supporters issued flyers opposing the production, asking if York University “supports anti-Semitic culture”.

    In a statement, the university Jewish Society condemned the staging.

    The society added that in rejecting opposition to the event, York students' union had showed a lack of concern about antisemitism on campus.

    The staging was one of a series of events mounted by students across the country as part of the annual anti-Israel campaign at universities. Other activities included stunts such as the construction of mock Israeli military checkpoints and talks by anti-Israel propagandists backing an academic boycott of the country.

    Jewish students have responded by mounting an initiative under the title “Building Bridges” designed to promote dialogue about Israel’s positive role in the world.

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