The Tightening Occupation in East Jerusalem

Israel forced Palestinians in East Jerusalem to cancel a January 17 cultural event at the Palestinian National Theater. Israeli Public Security Minister Erdan accused the Palestinian Authority of being linked to the event and thus shut it down (on the ground that the Oslo Agreement prevents the PA from participating in such events in Jerusalem without Israeli advance approval).

In closing the event, which was entitled, ironically enough, “CPR for Palestinian Cultural Institutions in Jerusalem,” Erdan stated, “I will not permit any violation of Israeli sovereignty and give a foothold to the PA in Israeli territory.” The event was to have been held at the Palestinian National Theater, also known as El-Hakawati Theater. That theater, which for decades was a center of Palestinian cultural life, is about to be closed down by Israeli creditors; with Jerusalem’s cut-off from the West Bank, it simply can’t do enough business to pay its bills.