In a recent news item on Foxnews/online, subsequently abridged in The London Evening Standard, Abraham Foxman, head of the ADL,(Anti Defamation League) in the USA, accuses my new production of "The Wall" and by implication me, of anti-Semitism. A serious charge that demands a response. Had Mr Foxman come to my show before passing judgement and commenting publicly he might, I hope, have held his peace, as there is no anti Semitism in "The Wall" show. The song to which he refers, "Goodbye Blue Sky", describes how ordinary people, military and civilians alike, suffer trauma in the aftermath of war. The visuals that accompany the song show waves of B52 bombers dropping various symbols from bomb bays on a war ravaged landscape. The symbols are: in no particular order, a Crucifix, a Hammer and Sickle, a Star of David, A Crescent and Star, a Mercedes sign, a Dollar sign, and a Shell Oil sign. Mr Foxman's concern was that potentially the juxtoposition of a Star of David and a Dollar sign might incite hatred of Jews. Contrary to Mr Foxman's assertion, there are no hidden meanings in the order or juxtaposition of these symbols. The point I am trying to make in the song is that the bombardment we are all subject to by conflicting religious, political, and economic ideologies only encourages us to turn against one another, and I mourn the concommitant loss of life.
In so far as The Wall has a political message it is to seek to illuminate our condition, and find new ways to encourage peace and understanding, particularly in the Middle East.
Incidentally, being from England, I had never heard of the ADL until today, but I have googled them and I see from their mission statement of 1913 that their brief is not only to defend the Jewish people from defamation, but also, and I quote, " to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike and to put an end forever to unjust and unfair discrimination against and ridicule of any sect or body of citizens". Perhaps we should all focus on that lofty ideal and stop cowering in our corners throwing stones at one another.
July 10, 2010 - Hoping Foundation