For the first time in my life, I am going to the theatre in the certain knowledge that my concentration on the play will be disturbed by audience members whose sole reason for attending is to create a disturbance.
The performance is Merchant of Venice by the Habimah company at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. There were interruptions by pro-Palestine agitators last night and we have been warned to expect a repetition. I am steeled for it. Attacks on Israeli culture are becoming routine. Anti-Israel sentiment is now a politically correct cliché across the performing arts in Britain.
The actress Emma Thompson has called, with many others, for the Globe to disinvite Habimah. Israel’s is the only culture to be demonised in this way. In the absence of logic, there is no room for dialogue. Emma’s friends will shout. I shall try to understand Shakespeare in Hebrew.