There's something almost magnificently unselfconscious about the campaign some British actors have launched to urge a boycott of a Hebrew-language production of "The Merchant of Venice."
On the other hand, there's also something very convenient about this project. Instead of having to write the letter themselves, the actors can find their message embedded within the text of the play they wish boycotted:
I pray you, think you question with the Jew:You may as well go stand upon the beachAnd bid the main flood bate his usual height;You may as well use question with the wolfWhy he hath made the ewe bleat for the lamb;You may as well forbid the mountain pinesTo wag their high tops and to make no noise,When they are fretten with the gusts of heaven;You may as well do anything most hard,As seek to soften that--than which what's harder?--His Jewish heart:
Yes, it's a very old script these actors are reading from. Yet the intended audience never wearies of it.