Israeli play by Palestinian writer adresses the Nakba

The hoopla over Israel's upcoming 60 anniversary is already underway. And the theatrical left in Israel is boldly providing some counterculture.

In today's UK Independent Donald Macintyre previews THE RETURN TO HAIFA at Israel's Camerei Theater. The play is adapted from the famous novella by Ghassan Kanafani, the great Palestinian writer and activist with the PFLP (who was killed -- most likely by the Mossad -- in a car bombing in Lebanon in 1972.) Right-wing Israelis are already denouncing the work in demonstrations outside the theater in Jaffa. Macintyre writes:

There will be many glitzier events to mark the 60th anniversary of Israel's foundation as a state next month. But there is unlikely to be one more intellectually daring than this production.

The play addresses the Nakba -- the catastrophe experienced by hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who had to flee their homes in Israel's war for independence. Performed by a cast of Jewish and Palestinian Israeli actors, and directed by Sinai Peter, THE RETURN TO HAIFA presents both Jewish and Arab characters with sympathy. Actor Mira Awad tells the Independent, "And neither side is exactly going to have an orgasm about that."