Six Plays of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict


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About the Book

A bold and singular collection of six plays by Arab and Jewish playwrights explores the human toll of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: The Admission by Motti Lerner, Scenes From 70* Years by Hannah Khalil, Tennis in Nablus by Ismail Khalidi, Urge for Going by Mona Mansour, The Victims by Ken Kaissar, and The Zionists by Zohar Tirosh-Polk.
Rather than striving to achieve balance and moral equivalency between “competing” narratives, the plays investigate themes of identity, justice, occupation, exile, history and homeland with honesty and integrity. The plays do not “take sides” or adhere to ideological orthodoxies but challenge tribalism and narrow definitions of nationalism, while varying widely in thematic content, dramatic structure, and time and place.
Where politicians and diplomats fail, artists and storytellers may yet succeed—not in ratifying a peace treaty between Israel and Palestine, but in building the sort of social and political connectivity that enables resolution.

About the Author(s)

Jamil Khoury is a playwright, essayist, and the founding artistic director of Chicago’s Silk Road Rising, a non-profit theatre and media arts company that tells stories through Asian American and Middle Eastern American lenses.

Michael Malek Najjar is an associate professor of theatre arts at the University of Oregon. He lives in Eugene, Oregon.

Corey Pond is a theatre manager, director, dramaturg, and educator living in Chicago, Illinois.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Jamil Khoury, Michael Malek Najjar and Corey Pond
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 289
Bibliographic Info: 20 photos, notes
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7590-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3475-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction (in three parts) by Jamil Khoury; Corey Pond; and Michael Malek Najjar 1

The Admission: A Play in Fourteen Scenes—Motti Lerner 9

Essay: Motti Lerner’s The Admission: Accounting and Atoning for the Past (Michael Malek Najjar) 11

Playwright Statement: Facing the Trauma of 1948 13

Playscript 14

Scenes from 70* Years — Hannah Khalil 45

Essay: Hannah Khalil’s Scenes from 70* Years: Snapshots from a Seemingly Endless Occupation (Michael Malek Najjar) 47

Playwright Statement: Humanizing the “Other” 49

Playscript 51

Tennis in Nablus — Ismail Khalidi 91

Essay: Ismail Khalidi’s Tennis in Nablus: Mining History for the Origins of the Conflict (Michael Malek Najjar) 93

Playwright Statement: Writing Palestine’s Invisible History 95

Playscript 97

Urge for Going: Trilogy Version — Mona Mansour 133

Essay: Mona Mansour’s Urge for Going: Dramatizing “Permanent Impermanence” (Michael Malek Najjar) 135

Playwright Statement: The Unspeakable Loss of Displacement 137

Playscript 139

The Victims: Or What Do You Want Me to Do About It? — Ken Kaissar 177

Essay: Ken Kaissar’s The Victims: Sympathy for the Suffering (Michael Malek Najjar) 179

Playwright Statement: Who Are the Victims? 181

Playscript 182

The Zionists —  Zohar ­Tirosh-Polk 227

Essay: Zohar ­Tirosh-Polk’s The Zionists: Tracking Generational Trauma (Michael Malek Najjar) 229

Playwright Statement: The Zionists—A Reckoning 231

Playscript 232

Afterword by Jamil Khoury and Michael Malek Najjar 273

Chapter Notes 279