This next story almost made me do a Technicolor yawn – such is the absurdity and level of deranged thinking about Israel.
The printed lyrics – with a modified version of Close Every Door from Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – were prepared for this year’s annual Wellington children’s festival, Artsplash.
In song sheets distributed to Wellington schools taking part in Artsplash, the phrase “Children of Israel” was changed to “Children of Kindness”.
The alteration was highlighted on Twitter by Kate Dowling, who asked: “Why opt to do a Jewish-themed song then remove the Jewish-themed lyric?”
The tweet prompted a “please explain” response from Rice, who said on Friday “Permission [was] not given” for the change.
He also described the change as “a terribly meaningless and drippy alteration”.
Artsplash, held in September, is part-funded by Wellington City Council but council spokesman Richard MacLean said the council had no involvement in printing the lyrics and no idea why they had been changed.
MacLean said the council “could only speculate as to why someone had decided that the word ‘Israel’ should be expunged” from the festival lyrics.
Artsplash Coordinator Mary Prichard said organisers made the decision to remove the word Israel to “keep life simple” at a festival for primary school children.
But as a result of the complaints about the lyric changes, Artsplash had removed Close Every Door and two other Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat songs from its programme.
“It’s not worth going there. It’s not worth looking for trouble,” Prichard said.
While I am glad Sir Tim Rice objected to the change, I don’t think “terribly meaningless and drippy” adequately describes it. In fact, it is a very meaningful change – an attempt to wipe out Israel’s existence in the hearts and minds of primary school children!
How sick is that?
And all to “keep life simple?!” Yes, I am sure life would be a hell of a lot simpler for some people if the Jews and Israel were not around or ever had been. You wouldn’t have ethical monotheism for a start, meaning subjective morality would be the order of the day, and people could do whatever made them feel good. Damn those pesky Jews for bringing ethics and morality to the world!
Note also their response to complaints is not to insert “Israel” back in, but to take out the entire song so as to “not look for trouble.” Apparently, the hurt feelings of Jews everywhere is ok, as long as the real important people are not offended (who I assume to be Israel haters, including a significant number of Muslims).
I am just surprised they stopped there and did not cancel the entire show – Joseph was one of the children of Jacob/Israel after all, and his existence is a reminder we have been around in this land of ours way longer than those who came later, the same people who have already shown their contempt for him.