December 11, 2004


The same brilliant artist who gave us this now presents his latest work -- a celebration of Hamas:

The privately funded exhibition, on the exterior of an office building off a busy Melbourne laneway, depicts the faces of four Palestinians killed by Israelis.

Two of the faces belong to former Hamas leaders, Sheikh Ahmad Yassin and Abdul Aziz Rantisi, both of whom were killed by Israelis.

"I think that it is appropriately located at the end of an alley right next to the garbage cans," Australian and Jewish Affairs Council senior policy analyst Ted Lapkin said.

Exhibition curator and director Andrew Mac defended the exhibition with the usual numb lines about "diverse opinions" and "the artist's role":

"I think that it is important we receive a diverse range of opinions and cultural comment from a wide variety of people," he said.

"In today's kind of climate where media channels are controlled by fewer and fewer organisations, it is the role of artists to question information and provide critical and cultural comment."

Poor guy hasn’t heard of the Internet. More on this debacle here, and Silent Running has pictures. Meanwhile, future Labor leader Kevin Rudd defends his party's record on Israel:

A minister in the Hawke Labor government, Barry Cohen, contends that anti-Semitism is now "rampant" in this same ALP.

His statement is as offensive as it is inflammatory and inaccurate. This is not just my view. It is also Mark Latham's view and the view of Labor premiers around the country with whom I have discussed the matter.

I wonder if he discussed the matter with Tanya Plibersek.

Posted by Tim Blair at December 11, 2004 01:14 AM

"It is the role of artists to question information and provide critical and cultural comment".

I was wondering why they're so crap at painting these days.

Posted by: rexie at December 11, 2004 at 01:32 AM

More than half a century later, the modern ALP is intensely proud of its contribution to the creation of the state of Israel.

Talk about resting on your laurels! The time between then and now is greater than the time between then and the time White Australia was introduced.

Yet a minister in the Hawke Labor government, Barry Cohen, contends (on this page on October 25) that anti-Semitism is now "rampant" in this same ALP.

Yes, and?

I can think of no more public forum to defend Israel's interests than Parliament.

And the number of people who read hansard while having breakfast is...?

Yet, mysteriously, when the ALP has reflected parallel concerns about the alignment of Israel's security fence, it is construed by the Government and others as insufficiently supportive of Israel.

Care to provide examples of the government doing so?

The fact that several Labor backbenchers have expressed criticism of Israel in recent years bears absolutely no relationship to the official policy of the ALP, endorsed by successive Labor conferences.

Either the backbenchers' comments don't reflect upon the ALP, and therefore are a load of hot (toxic) air, or they do reflect upon the ALP.

Some within the Australian Government may be quietly smiling about all this. I fear that some Government ministers and advisers are trying to create a political wedge between Labor and the Jewish community as part of a long-term Liberal electoral strategy. If true, it is exceptionally short-sighted.

Does this mean Barry is some sort of government agent? It is ironic that Kevin complains about indiscriminate use of the term "anti-Semetic" while indiscriminately accusing people of being anti-ALP.

Posted by: Andjam at December 11, 2004 at 02:05 AM

Al-Rantisi's nephew once challenged me to a game of ping pong. True story.

Posted by: Harry Hutton at December 11, 2004 at 02:44 AM

completely off topic but

You know water pistols can easily be filled with pigs blood.

I am in no way suggesting or advocating using waterpistols to squirt pigs blood over this mural to terrorists!

Posted by: Rob Read at December 11, 2004 at 04:11 AM

There is division in the Labor party with some supporting Israel and some demonising Israel.

Wasn't Tim Fisher a big supporter of Arafat?

Posted by: Jonny at December 11, 2004 at 04:23 AM

Actually, I can see a kind of celebration involved in putting up pictures of Yassin and Rantisi, especially if they put up accompanying text: "Yes, and they're dead!"

Posted by: Rebecca at December 11, 2004 at 05:14 AM

The big difference between Barry Cohen and Kevin Rudd is that Barry Cohen served honourably as a minister, and Kevin Rudd never will.

Posted by: steve at December 11, 2004 at 06:15 AM

Be sure to purchase or lease a Hamas Terrorist Flattener.

Posted by: bc at December 11, 2004 at 06:20 AM

Kevin Rudd well represents Lathams Labo(u)r, whatever that is.

Posted by: rog at December 11, 2004 at 06:54 AM

I hope you all had the chance some time back (via a link on LGF) to see the picture of the blind freak sheik after he was hit by the righteous missle -- with half his skull and a few appendages blown off looking like a piece of flame-scorched dog meat.

... now *that* was a work of art.

(NO irony intended)

Posted by: Kip Watson at December 11, 2004 at 10:34 AM

Seems to me this piss artist will be putting up photos of the HOLY JIHADIST BALI BOMBERS complete with eulogising text on some Melbourne corporation wall.
Perhaps then those "its all in the name of ART" reasons will be properly addressed, because the sum of the murdered Bali innocents is far lower than the sum of israeli women and children blown apart by these men's murderous deeds.
Shame he did not include pictures of supporters such as Margo and Tony in the exhibit.

Posted by: davo at December 11, 2004 at 02:04 PM

The Age has gone ga-ga today about some "uber cool" visiting professor advocating a new Melbourne driven by creative forces. Wonder what role this profound "art" will play in such a cultural renaissance. Waddaloadacrapanyway. Remember Whitlam's satellite cities, Adelaide's multi-function polis (should that be polii?). Coming from a state labor government near you: a planned metropolis producing the world's best art!!!????? We can't even make a feature flick that more than 100 sods are prepared to watch.

Posted by: slatts at December 11, 2004 at 02:39 PM

Ha ha ha!

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: But the current display is indecipherable to most. Two of the photo portraits are of assassinated Palestinian militants – Hamas leaders Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz Rantisi.

However, none of the coffee drinkers that AM spoke to in the laneway could identify them.

Do you know who those faces are?

VOX POP 1: One's from Lord of the Rings, that's about it, that's all I know.

VOX POP 2: No idea. I look at 'em, but I have no idea.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: If I told you that two of them are assassinated Palestinian militant leaders, would you be surprised?

VOX POP 1: Actually, yeah, I would be, yeah.

VOX POP 3: I don't think they should be glorified the way that portrays them.

Posted by: Evil Pundit at December 11, 2004 at 04:48 PM

One's from Lord of the Rings, that's about it, that's all I know.

My name is Saruman and I want to kill hobbits!

Posted by: Quentin George at December 11, 2004 at 06:55 PM

"I paint what I feel, said Rivera", or something like that. The mural done by extremely lefty Diego Rivera in the Rockefeller Centre in New York (a long time ago) was controversial, and I believe did not survive. It lives on in legend, like Che Guevara, assuming greatness for those who fantasize along those lines.
These will not survive either. They are shambolic agitprop, from crap artists with no respect for the real people on either side of the wall.

Posted by: geoff at December 11, 2004 at 08:53 PM

Just doing a spot of backtracking ...
Kevin Rudd on Tania Plibersek:
"she’s ripped into, when it wasn’t really fashionable to do so, the human rights record of the Taliban when they controlled Afghanistan back in 1999."
Gosh, that was really out there.

Posted by: geoff at December 11, 2004 at 09:18 PM


I'm sorry, but that sounds like a really bad superstore where they why your car to explode with each purchase...

Posted by: richard mcenroe at December 12, 2004 at 11:24 AM