Tuesday, December 17, 2002

We also have our share of silly actors who have become too big for their boots (or, as we say in Israel, their urine has gone up into their head).

Yesterday I heard some local actors talking on the radio. Apparently they are planning violent protests ("the likes of which have never been seen before" - I kid you not) in view of the proposed harsh cut, in the state budget for 2003 (which should be passed this evening), of investment in cultural enterprises, meaning many of them stand to lose their jobs. The ones most likely to be thrown out, of course, are those who make a living from state-subsidized repertoire theaters.

These actors are very angry indeed. They honestly can't understand why they're not on the top of the list for government handouts or why Israel doesn't spend 2% of the GNP on culture, like in Europe.


By the way, this came right after an item about a home for people who can’t look after themselves (I didn’t catch exactly what sort of people live there) in the poverty stricken southern town of Dimona, which is having such problems keeping afloat it is finding it difficult to supply the basic needs of its wards. Coming after this, the actors’ plight rather disgusted me.

How come some actors seem so intelligent when they say things other people write for them and so silly when they try saying anything they thought of themselves?

Probably the best example of this is Israeli actor Muhammad Bakri, whom you've probably heard of because his movie, "Jenin, Jenin", was recently banned from being screened in cinemas or on TV in Israel, apparently because it's a pack of vicious lies. I am told it especially offended parents of IDF soldiers killed in Jenin, who staged demonstrations at the couple of screenings that preceded the ban. I am opposed to the ban on the grounds that Bakri is a twerp and banning him only serves to advertise his movie and make him even more full of himself (if that is possible).

For some reason, he's very popular with TV interviewers in Israel, although he always talks such nonsense. Maybe it's because he's so good looking. I admit I don't switch channels when he's on, even though I usually find the content at best uninteresting, usually inflammatory. He manages to charm everyone into thinking that he has something worthwhile to say. The Arabs in Israel deserve a better spokesman, but I doubt if they could find a more prepossessing one.


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