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Tuesday, May 04, 2004

EXPOSED: AntiISRAELism funded by the City of Melbourne

Kol hakavod to "Tom Paine" of Silent Running

The words in red read:
Since the creation of Israel in 1948

200,000 Palestinians have been killed
5,000,000 refugees have been created
21,000 square kilometers of land have been annexed
385 towns and villages have been destroyed
200,000 settlements have been built
300 billion military dollars have been spent
100+ WMDs have been manifactured
65 UN resolutions have been ignored

HonestReporting has picked this up, so notice of it has gone to their 100,000 subscribers. That's a good thing.

The bad thing is that this is official, funded by the City of Melbourne, and is chock full of LIES about the State of Israel.
* Independent analyses by SIPRI, B'Tselem, and other agencies indicate that no more than 20,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since 1948. Meanwhile, Israel has lost 20,297 [in] military personnel [alone], since the War of Independence.

* The actual number of Arab refugees in 1949 was, according to Israeli sources, 538,000. (The UN puts the figure at 720,000.) Due primarily to neglect by Arab leaders, their descendents have reached over 4 million.

* The 21,000 square kilometers of land that the exhibition claims Israel 'annexed' apparently refers to the actual size of Israel itself - without considering disputed territories. This is a clear indication that the 'artist' considers Israel's very existence illegitimate. [Besides which, Israel never ANNEXED the terrortories, because it doesn't want to rule over the Palestinian mobs!]

* '200,000 settlements'?! Even if one includes the Golan and eastern Jerusalem, there are no more than 350 disputed settlements.

What can we do?

Write to the Herald Sun in response to their story, Art offends Jews (they "welcome your comments" at the bottom of the page), and likewise at The Age.

Write to the Melbourne City Council, who funded this atrocious and deeply offensive propaganda.

Write to Lord Mayor John So, who issued a a statement saying, "The views expressed in this exhibition are those of the artists's solely." His email is lordmayor@melbourne.vic.gov.au

BTW, who IS the artist? The newspaper articles name only curators: Mark Hilton (overseas and unavailable for comment) who received the funding, and Kiron Robinson, "24seven joint curator," who doesn't want to offend anyone: "The intention of the art is to present another side of the story to a very politically sensitive issue, not to offend anyone."

And finally, we can write to Dr. Colin Rubenstein - executive director and editorial chairman of the Australian/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council - to express our support for the local Jewish community's opposition to this display.
It might be good also to forward the Silent Running story (linked at the top of this post) to the wire services in the hope of further distribution - but care should be taken to include factual corrections to the misinformation in the "artwork" - we don't want to aid in spreading the lies.

P.S. If you want to see some real art, check out this coverage of my husband's photography at the Rockwell Museum of Western Art in Corning, NY. There's more images at his website.