May 2: This exhibit's not 'just art'

"Wall on Wall," a display by German photographer Kai Wiedenh?fer, is a political, one-sided rewriting of history.

letters to the editor 88 (photo credit: )
letters to the editor 88
(photo credit: )
This exhibit's not 'just art' Sir, - When art is used as a medium for politics it loses its right to be judged on artistic merit alone. In "Berlin exhibit equates security fence with Berlin Wall" (May 1) Benjamin Weinthal highlighted the proposed use of sections of that wall to stage an exhibit on Israel's security barrier. "Wall on Wall," a display by German photographer Kai Wiedenhöfer, is a political, one-sided rewriting of history, replacing critical thought with hollow symbolism from other places. It ignores the real context of the Middle East, including the role of terrorism, in an attempt to promote a fictional, anti-Israel narrative. This is not 'just art.' An April 30 report in the UK Independent headlined "Barbican's tribute to 1948 accused of demonising Israel" exposed a similar issue of art being used as an excuse to justify demonization and distort history. There, too, those responsible for hosting the exhibit claim their decisions are "artistic and curatorial" and refuse to take responsibility for their role in promoting demonization. Europe appears to have a Jewish problem. Anti-Semitism is becoming socially acceptable in high society. Cultural institutions, politicians and community organizations must wake up to the problem and address the underlying issues and creeping demonization of Israel in European culture. Those who stand silently by must share the blame when the fruits of the seeds of hate begin to bloom. ANDRE OBOLER Jerusalem Happy(expletive) Sir, - Here is a disappointing snapshot of the run-up in England to Israel's 60th birthday: It is demarcated with appalling diatribes against Israel appearing in op-ed articles in national newspapers, such as the one blaming Israel for Gaza's sewage problems and using an expletive which cannot be printed (except in England). Also the BBC showed a program on aliya which "miraculously" found a former English Jewish woman who has decided to live in an Israeli Arab town and is against "the occupation." Sadly, I am used to this blinkered media reporting. However, I feel more than a tinge of fury when a group of Jewish academics and professionals see fit to pay substantial amounts of money for large adverts in the Jewish and national press siding with our haters. What these "liberal" individuals do not understand is that anti-Semites do not discriminate between Jew and Jew in their hatred ("Diaspora gets a different taste at Israel's 60th," April 28). LAWRENCE RYZ London