The issue has been reported on by Haaretz and Ynet. "The Habima theatre owes about 150,000 euros to four authors" says the American-Jewish lawyer Tonda Marton, representing the authors victim of the fraud. "It is a disgrace: for the theatre, which will not be able to receive rights on any other American plays, but also for the Israeli government, which is coming out of this pretty badly". A cultural-diplomatic incident between Israel and the United States seems imminent. The Tel-Aviv government is keeping its distance from the issue: "Habima is an independent organisation, although they partly receive state funding". The Ministry added that "Actually, we are the ones who feel have been damaged by these events".
The four American authors are after all not the only ones who are owed money from Habima. The famous theatre which showcases the best of Israeli art and main Hebrew speaking theatre in the country, appears to be indebted for millions of euros, in Israel and abroad. At the end of 2011 the Israeli state had already pardoned the theatre for debts amounting to 3 million euros, but the measure hasn't been sufficient to get its financial situation back on track. The figures still don't add up, as the employees of the theatre know well, as they have had to strike in the past in order to obtain payment of their salaries. Nonetheless, in the last five years, Habima's management has invested over 20 million euros for massive refurbishing. The contrast between the disastrous budget and the lavishes (financed mainly by the council) have not gone unnoticed, also because it coincides with a period of social unrest in Israel.
The inauguration ceremony of last January was assaulted by a few hundred demonstrators shouting "we want public housing, not luxury theatres!" (ANSAmed).