|Grotesque art exhibition at An-Najah University celebrating the slaughter by a Palestinian Arab suicide bomber of women, men, children and entire families eating pizza in the heart of Jerusalem|
Regarding “Kahlon meets with PA’s PM to discuss economic steps” (June 2), does Finance Minister and Kulanu party head Moshe Kahlon know he is offering rewards to Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, a supporter of virulent Jew-hatred, with no reciprocal gestures? When Hamdallah, president of An-Najah University in Nablus, was appointed PA prime minister, I described in “Politics is dead, killed by art in Nablus” (Comment & Features, July 23, 2014) how his students glorified murdering Jews.
At the university, a grotesque art exhibition was mounted celebrating the slaughter by a Palestinian Arab suicide bomber of women, men, children and entire families eating pizza in the heart of Jerusalem.
A group of art students constructed a replica of the Sbarro pizzeria, site of the massacre. Students pushed to see realistically sculpted body parts and pizza slices strewn throughout an environment set for a performance artwork.
Wearing a terrorist’s military uniform and black mask, a performance artist entered the mock pizzeria under a sign reading “Kosher Sbarro” and set off a simulated explosion to the cheers of the crowd. Upon entering and leaving, the visitors enthusiastically wiped their feet on Israeli and American flags used as doormats.
Visitors then encountered a mannequin outfitted as a terrorist standing next to a large boulder.
A speaker placed behind the rock called out in Arabic: “O believer, there is a Jewish man behind me, come and kill him.” In another room, two students dressed as suicide bombers, each with the Koran in one hand and a Kalashnikov assault rifle in the other, were reenacting the grisly last video testaments that suicide bombers create before carrying out their deadly attacks.
Historian of Islamic art Elisabeth Siddiqui writes in the Arabic journal Al-Madrashah Al-Ula that art is the mirror of a culture and its worldview. She emphasizes that there is no case to which this statement more directly applies than to the art of the Islamic world.
As a former art professor at Columbia University and research fellow at the MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies, I concur with Siddiqui. The values of Hamdallah are mirrored in his students’ art that praises terrorism and genocide.