Skip to comments.Ambassador wrecks suicide bomber exhibit in Sweden
Posted on 01/17/2004 10:20:16 AM PST by anguish
Ambassador wrecks suicide bomber exhibit in SwedenBy JPOST.COM STAFF
In what the avant garde might call a transgressive work of performance art, Israel's ambassador to Sweden, Zvi Mazel, wrecked Friday an exhibit in Stockholm's Museum of National Antiquities depicting a Palestinian suicide bomber.
Located in the museum's courtyard, "Snow White and the Madness of Truth" depicted a smiling Hanadi Jaradat, the Maxim restaurant suicide bomber who killed 21 patrons and staff as well as herself on October 4. Her photograph was placed on a little boat floating in a basin filled with water dyed red.
The ambassador was a guest at the opening of the museum's exhibition, which is linked to an international conference on genocide, "Stockholm International Forum: Preventing Genocide - Threats and Responsibilities," to be held January 26-28.
Israel has threatened to boycott the conference if the museum's "Making Differences" exhibit on the Middle East conflict is not dismantled, Army Radio reported, saying that the exhibition breaks understandings Israel reached with Sweden.
"This was not a piece of art," the ambassador told Sweden's SR radio news station. "It was a monstrosity."
"For me it was intolerable and an insult to the families of the victims," he said. "As ambassador [of] Israel I could not remain indifferent to such an obscene misrepresentation of reality."
Museum director Kristian Berg suggested that Mazel endangered those in the museum. "He pulled out the plugs and threw one of the spotlights into the fountain, which caused the entire installation to short-circuit and made it totally life-threatening," Berg told Swedish news agency TT, AFP reported.
The museum director said he did not consider the artwork to be a provocation. "It is rather an invitation to think about why such things happen in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," he said.
Swedish Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anna Larsson said the ambassador will be asked to explain his attack. "We will ask him to explain and from our side we will maintain that it is unacceptable to destroy works of art in this way," Larsson said.
The artists behind the installation are musician Dror Feiler - himself an Israeli Swede - and his Swedish wife Gunilla Skold Feiler. Feiler, who described the ambassador's actions as "vandalism," announced that he would not perform as long as Mazel was present. The museum director requested that the ambassador leave, then escorted him out.
Feiler told the Associated Press that his installation aimed to call attention to how weak people left alone can be capable of horrible things. "[Mazel] tried to stop free speech and free artistic expression from being carried out in Sweden," Feiler said.
As a political activist, Feiler is president of Jews for Israeli Palestinian Peace, which initiated a campaign entitled "Jewish Manifesto: Sharon is Israel's Worst Enemy."
Feiler describes himself as the "eye-bleeding ultimate composer of intifadic and eruptive lung-outs."
Ironic. More concerned about the "life-threatening" risk to the people in the museum than about giving tacit approval of the life-taking actions of those murderous suicide bombers. But the suicide bombers don't endanger Swedes, only Jews, so that must explain it.
Perhaps it wasn't the particular exhibit itself that caused the Israeli ambassador to go berserk, but this environment of "cool objectivity bordering on indifference" that surrounded it.
I'm inclined to understand (and appreciate) Mazel's violent reaction.
I see he is one Israeli that has chosen not to live in Israel. Its easy to adopt an attitude of "peace at any price" while living in safety; its quite another to be confronted every day by a large, hostile population living in one's midst that only wants one thing: every Jew to be dead. These appeasment artists are insane.
Art? This isn't art, it's the celebration of barbarity. What has happened to the Swedes that they can't recognize that?
Fortunately Israel, in Ambassador Zvi Mazel, is demonstrating that it intends to defend and retain its sovereignty and to protect the lives of its citizens and that the farm system for future prime ministers is deep indeed. Congratulations, Mr. Ambassador, you are a beacon of sanity to us all, a rarity in today's world.
When it went off and ruined everyone's clothes, he could have pointed out that at least those whose clothes were ruined are still alive - but if he had been a Pali suicide bomber, anyone with red on their clothes would have been DEAD.
Israel's ambassador to Sweden, Zvi Mazel
The Israeli ambassador to Sweden, Zvi Mazel (L), and artist Dror Feiler (R) argue at the Historical Museum in Stockholm where Mazel damaged an artwork, January 16, 2004, in this grab taken from video.
The Israeli ambassador to Sweden, Zvi Mazel, damages an artwork at the Historical Museum in Stockholm, January 16, 2004, in this grab taken from video.
Curator Thomas Nordanstad inspects damage to an artwork inflicted by Israel's ambassador to Sweden at the Historical Museum in Stockholm, January 16, 2004.
Swedish artists Gunilla Skoeld Feiler, left, and Israeli born Dror Feiler stand behind their restored art installation, 'Snow White and the Madness of Truth', at the courtyard of the Museum of National Antiquities in Stockholm, Sweden Saturday Jan. 17 2004.
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