From 2004, letter to the Guardian.
Your so-called experts who attacked Perdition repeat the lies that were told when the play was first produced and then censored by the Royal Court in 1987 (Can censorship ever be justified? December 22).
As its first director, I can say that the essential story the play tells - of collaboration of some Zionists with the Nazis in Budapest in 1944 - was not challenged and stands as historical fact. Minute details were rigorously pursued. The torrent of misinformation about Jim Allen's play came from those who objected to the political critique of Zionism and the consequent dispossession of the Palestinians. Max Stafford-Clark, then director at the Court and responsible for the play's censorship, now says that the charge of antisemitism was "bandied about" (Theatre community defends 'courageous Birmingham Rep, December 21). He doesn't have the decency to say that this was unfounded.
The writer Eric Fried, many of whose family were murdered by the Nazis, wrote: "I am envious I have not written [this play] myself ... To accuse the play of faking history or anti-Jewish bias is monstrous. Perdition should be staged wherever possible."
The charge of antisemitism is the time-honoured way to deflect anti-Zionist arguments. The play has been successfully produced at least three times since Stafford-Clark's climbdown. The Rep should have stuck to its guns with Behzti. Let's hope another theatre understands the principle at stake.
"It's the same bunch always complaining, and here's a Jew who agrees with me. Historical fact!"