JW3 has defended its decision to host the controversial cabaret show ‘Ballad of the Burning Star’ on Sunday evening, after senior figures privately expressed “horror” that the performance likened Israel to Nazi Germany.
The show is written and performed by Nir Paldi, an “enraged Israeli” coming to terms with the moral dilemmas of being a Jew living in the settlements.
The centre describes it as “an explosive tale” of victimhood, persecution, aggression and love, and “a journey into the core of a conflicted Jewish state”.
“With most issues in the Jewish community, and Israel in particular, it’s very difficult to keep everyone happy,” said Raymond Simonson, chief executive at the Finchley Road community centre. “The old adage of ‘two Jews, three opinions’ is pretty accurate from my experience.”
Several senior, none of whom wished to be named, have voiced disquiet at the show being hosted at a Jewish community centre so soon after the Gaza conflict this summer invoked a surge in anti-Semitism across the country.
“When it comes to art, not everything will be for everyone,” said Simonson, who confirmed the team had both seen the show.
“What speaks to you may not speak to me. What you find funny I might find offensive. What you consider to be beautiful, I might find ugly. So yes, we go in with our eyes wide open. We know that people will have very different opinions.”