Rhoald play

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News that London’s Royal Court is to stage a ‘highlight’ play exploring the anti-Semitism of Roald Dahl, shines the spotlight on growing concern that he has been honoured by the Welsh capital

Soon a play about the anti-Semitism of Roald Dahl will be performed here

The performance is a centre-piece of the theatre’s productions, but highlights worries about celebrating Cardiff as the birthplace of Mr Dahl. and naming a key visitor attraction in his honour.

City officials are facing awkward questions about him, when a filled in ‘holding dock’ is now a pleasant walkway in the heart of Cardiff Bay, and has been called Roald Dahl Plass (RDP).

Mr Dahl was a convinced anti-Semite, as well as giving racist views, and although he was a brilliant children’s writer, honouring him seems bizarre to some visitors to the city.

Roald Dahl Plass – would YOU walk in a place named after an anti-Semite?!

In a 1983 review of a book about the war in Lebanon, he wrote: “Never before in the history of man has a race of (Jewish) people switched so rapidly from being much-pitied victims to barbarous murderers”.

In the same year, he referred to “powerful American Jewish bankers”, and also said in an interview with the New Statesman (NS): “There is a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity, maybe it’s a kind of lack of generosity towards non-Jews…Hitler didn’t pick on Jews for no reason”.

The Child Catcher – Roald Dahl was a rabid Jew-hater

Apparently endorsing this repugnant observation, more than thrty years ago Mr Dahl said to The Independent: “I’m certainly anti-Israeli and I’ve become anti-Semitic in as much as that you get a Jewish person in another country like England strongly supporting Zionism”.

He wrote the screenplay for the 1968 film version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and one of the characters in it (the ‘Child Catcher’) was almost certainly an anti-Semitic stereotype.

Roald Dahl – ‘Hitler didn’t pick on Jews for no reason’

The Jerusalem Post said about him: “Dahl harbored deep animus towards Israel in tandem with rabid Jew-hatred. And he was never less than forthcoming in broadcasting his racism.”.

Meanwhile, one tourist walking with his family in RDP told The Eye“This is a lovely place for me and the kids, but naming it Roald Dahl Plass after what he’s said, seems a bit much!”.

A plaque honouring an anti-Semite?

Another proclaimed: “I really like it down here, but I don’t like walking in a place named after this man”.

Commemorating Mr Dahl seems bizarre to critics, despite his superb story-telling, and the issue calls into question the dilemma of whether it is actually POSSIBLE to separate (and venerate) masterly work from the appalling background of the person behind it.

‘Let’s write a play attacking the Jews…’

Perhaps that might be the subject of another play at the Royal Court, after the one about the anti-Semitism of Mr Dahl…

 

The memories of Phil’s decades long award-winning career in journalism (when the truth about revered individuals was always reported) as he was gripped by the rare neurological disease Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), have been released in a major book ‘A GOOD STORY’. Order it now!

‘BUY MY BOOK!’

Publication of another book, however, was refused, because it was to have included names.

Tomorrow – during 40 years in journalism, politics has always featured strongly for our Editor Phil Parry, so he looks on with mounting horror as new figures show that far-right figures have, or may be about to, control of a slew of European Union (EU) countries.