Left anti-semitism

The "Perdition" affair

In early 1987 there was a public controversy about "Perdition", a play by Jim Allen, a radical writer with a Trotskyist background, which was scheduled to be directed by Ken Loach at the Royal Court Theatre in London.

Critics claimed that the play, representing Zionists as collaborating with the Nazis in the massacre of Jews in Hungary, was anti-Jewish, and designed primarily to "delegitimise" Israel; defenders argued that it was being banned for highlighting awkward truths.

The Royal Court cancelled the production at a late stage. Later, the play, in an amended version, was published, and in 1999 it was performed at the Gate Theatre in London.


The "Perdition" affair

John O'Mahony (Sean Matgamna)

When the Royal Court Theatre decided at the last minute not to go ahead with its scheduled production of Jim Allen's play about the massacre of the Jews of Hungary in 1944, 'Perdition', a flood of discussion, polemic and recrimination was unleashed in the press. It had already been the subject of protests by various prominent Jews and of publicity in the press.

“Ethnic” block-voters?

Daniel Randall

In his letter giving his recollections of the debate around the (successful) attempt to ban the Sunderland Polytechnic Jewish Society in the 1980s (Solidarity 238), Brian Plainer highlights the “natural bias” of “500-600 mostly overseas Arab/Islamic students”, which he believes represented “a significant block vote in favour of banning the Jewish Society”.