Finished Summary Public Symposia “Theater and Resistance: Presenting the Palestinian Narrative in 48/Israel”


Category: Symposium

Research Group: B03 Peace Building

Public Symposia “Theater and Resistance: Presenting the Palestinian Narrative in 48/Israel”will be jointly held by B03 “Trust and Peace Building in Conflict Affected Areas” with College of Intercultural Communication, Rikkyo University.

Date: Saturday 18th February, 2023, 14:00-16:30 (13:30 Venue Opens)
Venue:Room 5125, Building No.5, Ikebukuro Campus, Rikkyo University
3-34-1 Nishiikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, 171-8501

14:00 Opening remarks by Prof. Masako Ishii.
14:05 Introduction of the speaker by Prof. Hanayo Murai.
14:10 Keynote speech by Ms. Einat Weizman.
          English to Japanese interpretation by Ms. Maho Watanabe
15:30 Break
15:40 Discussion by Ms. Weizmann and Prof. Hiroyuki Suzuki.
16:10 Question and Answer
16:30 Closing remarks by Prof. Morihiro Niino.

How can Palestinian narratives be presented in Israel? In these symposia we invite Ms. Einat Weizman, a Tel Aviv based playwright and actress, to discuss her theater activities making Palestinian voices heard in Israeli society. Ms. Einat’s plays, including “Palestine, Year Zero” (2016), “Prisoners of the Occupation” (2019), and “How to Make a Revolution” (2021-22), deals with topics such as Israeli military invasions of Palestinian territories, Palestinian political prisoners, and security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. She is also involved in human rights activism through arts in a Bedouin village in the Negev. Through lecture and dialogue, she will present her activities that aim to achieve societal change in Palestine/Israel by narrating conflicts through arts.

<Profile of Einat Weizman>
Ms. Einat Weizman: Playwright, Actress, Human rights activist
Born in 1973. Based in Tel Aviv, she introduces various social issues which are often neglected in Israeli society in her theater works. Not only performing as an actress on film and television in Israel, she has also directed many plays on the human rights situation of Palestinians. Her play“Palestine, Year Zero” was staged in Tokyo in 2017. Holding a master’s degree from Tel Aviv University, she teaches theater in universities and other organizations. Recently, she ran in the Israeli legislative election held in November 2022 as the 6th candidate of Balad, an Arab political party. Her play “Prisoners of the Occupation” will be staged at “Geki” Small Theater in Shimokitazawa, Tokyo from February 17 to 26, 2023.

Pre-registration is in the order of arrival(Seating capacity: 60 MAX)
Visit the following link:

Contact: Saki Yamamoto yamamoto_saki[at]
Emergency contact:Hiroyuki Suzuki suzuki[at]

Co-organizer: Grant-in-Aid for Transformative Research Areas (A), “Connectivity and Trust-building in the Islamic Civilization”(Principal Investigator; Masako Ishii(Rikkyo University); 20H05829) , The College of Intercultural Communication, Rikkyo University.


   The lecture of Ms. Einat Weizmann did not only expose the problems of the contemporary Israeli society but also gave important suggestions on practice for the protection of human rights through cultural activities in the conflict areas. Saying at the start, “I will start from the end. Time, last October, elections in Israel. The location, the Supreme Court in Israel, ,” Weizmann explained to the floor that she acts as a member of “Balad,” a party of Israeli Palestinian, she was the 6th candidate on the shortlist of Balad for the 2022 election, a doubt about its candidacy was raised and came before the courts, and one of the causes of legal action was her theatrical activities. She also gave a detailed account of what led up to those activities with her career in show business and theatrical activities.
  She mentioned her previous career as a “celeb” who has performed in various movies and acts such as “Operation Grandma” in the 1990s. Her life dramatically changed by a photo, which was distributed on the internet during the 2014 Gaza Conflict and caused bashing. The photo, that of when she was wearing a T-shirt with a slogan “Free Palestine,” was taken unintentionally in 2006. As Weizmann said, “There were a few hate speeches then, but they were still not severe,” the incident drove her to be in a more difficult situation.
  Because of her experience, she wrote and directed her first theatrical work titled “Shame” in 2015. The play has the words citing the writing of Walid Daqqa, a Palestinian prisoner, that was regarded as a problem by the Government of Israel, so the Ministry of Culture and Sports criticized her by name and put economic pressure on her activities with related foundations. In the Acco Fringe Theatre Festival, the mayor of Acco (Acre) has prohibited the performance of the play “Prisoners of the Occupation” written by Weizmann, and it resulted in a heated controversy involving many cultured persons in Israel. Having had respect for the activities of Israeli persons of culture, she argued, “They were speaking for freedom of speech and not for Palestinian rights.” This point exposes a questionable relation between the principle of democracy and the conflict in their country. As a theater where her work was performed was forced to close for a week in September 2017, she thought, “this is the end for me .”
  At this time, Weizmann saw Dareen Tatour, a Palestinian woman arrested for posting her poems on Facebook. The dialog with Tatour arrested for posting poems was an opportunity for Weizmann to create new plays. In the play “I, Dareen T.,” Weizmann bodied Dareen Tatour, a Palestinian woman, and played Dareen to convey the woman’s voice to the audience. During these activities, she encountered a prisoner X and other internees, which led her to complete the trilogy “Prisoners of the Occupation,” “I, Dareen T.,” and “How to make a revolution.”
  Weizmann used the word “privilege” in this lecture several times. Weizmann, who is active in theater fully utilizing her position as an Israeli white Jew, concluded the lecture by saying, “My personal transformation from a t-shirt wearer to a playwright and a candidate in a political party is also the story of the radical descent of my country.”
  The floor actively addressed questions such as that concerning the evaluation of the present administration from Israeli society and that on the value of continuing her activities through theater. Weizmann’s relationship building with Palestinian prisoners, particularly with Dareen Tatour who entrusted her voice to Weizmann, is rarely seen in the conflict areas. On the other side, the slanders and attacks against Weizmann in Israel fully show a price people have to pay for building relationship with “others” in a society involved in a conflict. We can say that this symposium, which clarified the activities of Weizmann beyond a general framework for peace building through her narrative, was meaningful also from the viewpoint of being held shortly after the start of new Israeli government.
  In addition, before and after the lecture, the introduction of the lecturer by Prof. Hanayo Murai, Kyoritsu Women’s University and comments by Prof. Morihiro Niino, Rikkyo Univerisity helped the audience’s understanding. In particular, this report partially relies on the documents distributed by Prof. Murai. Finally, I would also like to appreciate the great contribution of Maho Watanabe, an interpreter.
(Author: Hiroyuki Suzuki)

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