Tony Kushner supports Jonathan Glazer's speech at the Oscars

Tony Kushner has come out in support of Jonathan Glazer's Oscar acceptance speech, calling the British director's comments at the ceremony “an unimpeachable and irrefutable statement.”

talking on Haaretz podcast Released Wednesday, Kushner, the four-time Oscar-nominated screenwriter, was asked about his feelings on a number of topics related to the conflict between Israel and Gaza, and touched on Glazer's speech, which was attacked by some Jewish figures in Hollywood and was the subject of a recent open letter signed by 1,000 people.

During the podcast, Kushner, who is in Israel to promote a production of his Tony Award-winning play, appeared Angels in America In Tel Aviv, he raises the negative reaction to Glazer's speech at the Oscars, a speech he described as “a kind of unquestionable, irrefutable statement.” The playwright is then asked if he agrees with Glazer's comments, and Kushner says, “Of course, I mean, who doesn't?”

Kushner explains: “What? [Glazer’s] To say it is so, it is very simple. It says that Judaism, Jewish identity, Jewish history, the history of the Holocaust, and the history of Jewish suffering must not be used as an excuse for the project of dehumanizing or slaughtering others.”

“This is a misappropriation of what it means to be Jewish, what the Holocaust means, and he rejects that. Who wouldn’t agree to that?” he continues.

“What kind of person thinks what is happening now in Gaza is acceptable?” Kushner says. “And if you find yourself saying out loud and publicly, 'It's okay what they're doing,' because you feel like that's the only option for you, because you're Jewish, to defend everything Israel does.” You know, that's a shame on you.”

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Earlier in the podcast, Kushner, who has been a long-time critic of Israel's policies, especially those of Benjamin Netanyahu, and its treatment of Palestinians, addressed accusations that calling for a ceasefire is anti-Semitic. “The people I know who enthusiastically participate in calls for a ceasefire, these are not anti-Semitic people, and their interest is not in the destruction of Israel and certainly not in pogroms against Jews elsewhere.”

“What they really care about, and the passion and the anger that you see, is that thousands of lives are at stake, tens of thousands of millions of lives are at stake. Before our eyes, what actually looks like ethnic cleansing is happening to me,” Kushner says. “I mean I tend to believe the far-right people in Netanyahu's government who say, “Yes, it's ours now,” so how can this not be ethnic cleansing?

Kushner said he wanted “Israelis to be able to live in peace and security,” but added that “the treatment of the Palestinians, as many Israelis have been saying for decades, the occupation of the West Bank and the imprisonment of people in Gaza,” and “the checkpoints and the wall and all these things do not make Israel safe in reality”.

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