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Date posted: April 21, 2009
By MIFTAH

The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy, MIFTAH, strongly condemns the recent attempt to burn down the Freedom Theater in Jenin. The theater was attacked two times in three weeks but failed to burn down the interior.

The theater has been a haven for young artists in Palestine, particularly in light of the harsh and oppressive conditions of living under an Israeli occupation. Thousands of children and adults have participated over the years in the theater's activities, including a Palestinian adaptation of George Orwell's Animal Farm.

Such attempts to kill the artistic spirit of Palestine are abhorrent and should not be tolerated. While the arsonist is yet unidentified, the trend of suppressing art forms that do not necessarily adhere to traditional or conventional norms is all too common. For this reason, we call on all Palestinians to embrace and allow freedom of expression through art and other means that do not in any way destroy or threaten our national or cultural identity.

We also call on the Palestinian security services to do their utmost in finding the perpetrator and bringing him to justice. Such acts will only serve to push Palestinians deeper into despair and stunt their artistic and cultural growth.

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