Saturday, January 17, 2004

Tom, I’m on your side on this. Under other circumstances I would agree with Scott, underwriting his assessment that it is “art”, albeit really bad, crappy art. Being a European and given the fact the exhibition took place in an EU country I feel compelled however to put the whole thing in context.

The context is this:

*Last summer the Mayor of Rotterdam, The Netherlands, had to intervene personally in the case of the so-called “Black Schools”, where the majority of students are young immigrants, mostly Moroccans. In several schools the pupils made it impossible that history lessons on the Holocaust were given, wreaking havoc in the classrooms and shouting slogans like “Joden, die moet je doden” (“Jews, those you have to kill”). The case was brought to attention by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a 33-year old MP of Somalian origin and former Muslim. Check out this link. It's in Dutch but you'll get the meaning.

*There’s a Europeanwide phenomenon of anti-Semitism on the rise, with, e.g., threatening of prominent Jews and desecration of Jewish graves. If you got the time, take a look here.

*Past autumn German Press was for some weeks in turmoil over the forced resignation from his party by Christian-Democratic MP Martin Hohmann, whose bold remarks accused the Jews of being a people of perpetrators, citing that millions of Russians died in the early twenties in a Revolution orchestrated by Jews. A symphatizing Bundeswehr Special Forces General, Gunzel, was also force to resign. Read the story at Time. Believe me, a lot think like Hohmann and Gunzel but speak not out (yet).

*Gretta Duisenberg, the wife of former European Central Bank President Wim Duisenberg, made a lot of press the past years for her biased stance in the Palestinian issue, always glorifying the suicide bombers and accusing the IDF of terrorist behaviour in the Occupied Territories, and even going so far as hanging a Palestinian flag from her house. Btw, there's a strange side-story on this lady, do a Google for former CIA-agent Philip Agee.

*On Dec 5th, 2001, Brussels Head Rabbi Albert Guigui, was beaten and spit in the face in a Brussels metro station by a group of youngsters of North-African origin.

*etc. etc etc...

Believe me, it's just the tip of the Iceberg.

The bottomline is, in Europe as a whole there’s a frightening rise in Antisemitism, more often than not thinly veiled as anti-Israelism. One can rightly criticize the IDF’s actions in the West Bank and Gaza as being harsh and humiliating to the Palestinians, although when history will pass its judgement the Israelis’ actions will become – are already – quite understandable. The point is that in Europe hatred against Israel for its policy is being used as a vehicle to commit Europes ages-old disease: Anti-Semitism.

And that’s where this so-called “art exhibition” comes in the picture. What's embarrassing me is not so much that the "work" was from Jews themselves – I frown upon and consider as a nutcase many a modern artist - but the fact that such a distasteful thing was organized in a European country which praises itself for its religious tolerance. Exhibiting crap like this fake bloodpool is just another sickening example of "Political Correctness". Glorifying wackos blowing innocent civilians up is good. But don't try to make a hush about a burnt Paris synagogue. It has NOTHING to do with art. Not even with bad art.

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