A THEATRE in Marrickville has apologised for telling a Jewish group it could not hire the premises because it does “not host groups that support the colonisation and occupation of Palestine”.
Hillel assistant director Shailee Mendelevich contacted The Red Rattler in Marrickvile to hire the theatre but was told: “Hi, Our policy does not support colonialism/zionism. Therefore we do not host groups that support the colonisation and occupation of Palestine. The Red Rattler Team.”
In an email to The AJN tonight (Monday) it said the email “does not reflect the values of the Community Board of the Red Rattler Theatre”.
The email, which is signed by the entire board of directors of the Red Rattler Theatre went on to say that “The Red Rattler condemns racism of any kind”.
“We welcome organisations from all cultures and walks of life and actively encourage cultural diversity.”
The Red Rattler board contacted Hillel directly to discuss the situation.
Prior to the apology NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff wrote to the manager of the Red Rattler.
“The organisation in question is an apolitical body which provides educational, cultural and social activities for Jewish students and young adults, and it was therefore extremely taken aback to receive a response from your team,” Alhadeff wrote.
He asked the manager for a meeting to discuss misconceptions about the Hillel, Israel and the Jewish community.
“To categorically reject an approach by a Jewish organisation to hire your premises because of a political position that your team holds in relation to an overseas conflict is at best ill-informed and at worst racist and discriminatory.”
Alhadeff told The AJN that it’s sad to see the theatre practise outright discrimination and worse, importing divisiveness based on conflicts taking place far from Australia.