Year Zero 1929

Based on Hillel Cohen’s book – 1929: Year Zero of the Jewish-Arab Conflict

The play centers on the hostilities that took place in Palestine between Jews and Arabs in the second half of August 1929, known as “The Events of Tarpat” (for the Jews) or the revolt of al Buraq (for the Arabs). They ended in 133 deaths on the Jewish side, 116 dead on the Arab side, and hundreds of wounded on both sides. For the first time, the events are presented on stage as they were reflected through the eyes of both sides – the Jews and the Arabs – as well as the British authorities.

The play makes use solely of testimonies of contemporaries: testimonies of witnesses given before the British Commission of Inquiry; testimonies given to Jewish organizations; newspaper clippings, letters and memoirs. This creates a mosaic of voices that together tell a story of mutual hostility and violence, but also of help and rescue that crossed national borders.
These voices present different points of view on the same event, and draw a complex, multi-dimensional picture. The play does not deal with all the centers of violence, but only with Jerusalem. In this way it is possible to clearly follow the development of the events that began on Yom Kippur (September 23, 1928) in a conflict over a partition between men and women, set up by Jewish worshipers near the Western Wall. In the following months, tensions between Jews and Arabs mounted, to the point where several incidents led to the bloody outbreak of next summer. From the mosaic of voices, a narrative of a complex event emerges, that gains slow momentum, reaches a violent explosion, and subsides. The play also includes testimonies relating to the events that took place in May 2021 during Operation “Shomer Chomot” and that indicate the ever-present dimension of the 1929 events.

Show length: 75 min

Play: Avner Ben-Amos
Director: Sinai Peter
Actors: Hava Ortman, Rawda Sliman, Daniel Bartov, Rabia Khoury
Set Design & Costumes: Daniella Mor
Music: Habib Shehadeh
Video-Art: Ya’ara Nirel
Lighting: Roey Dvir
Assistant Director: Jonathan Basson

The mosaic painting is inspired by artist’s work David Wakstein (on exhibit at TA Museum)

Supported by:
The Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace,
Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts, Tel Aviv Municipality.
Chaim Herzog Center for Middle-East Studies & Diplomacy, Ben-Gurion University.
Moshe Dayan Center for Middle-Eastern & African Studies.
Kellman Center for Jewish Education, Tel Aviv University.
Mifal Hapayis Council for Culture & Arts.

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