‘Slaughter The Jews’ Amulet Stolen From Controversial College Art Exhibition
“The Power of the Word,” which opened Tuesday at Sapir College, is seen by some as encouraging incitement, though its defenders insist that the exhibit is important because it showcases opinions on both sides.
The exhibition includes three hamsas (palm-shaped amulets popular throughout the Middle East) created by artist Gad Wellnitz and decorated with the words “ISIS,” “Slaughter the Jews,” and “In blood and fire we will redeem Palestine.”
“There is no place in an academic institution for an exhibition which calls for the massacre of a people,” one irate student told NRG.
Ironically, the school, with an enrollment of some 8,000 students, sits just five kilometers from the border with Gaza and has been hit hundreds of times by rockets fired by Palestinian terrorists.
An hour and a half before the official opening of the controversial exhibition at Sapir College, organizers discovered that the amulet emblazoned with the words “Aitbah el Yahud (Slaughter the Jews)” was stolen from the wall where it was to have been displayed, despite the presence of security guards.
College Security Department officials are going through surveillance cameras footage find out who did it, and said they have identified two key suspects, who they said are among leaders of the fight against the exhibition in recent days.
“We condemn manifestations of vandalism and attempts to violate the freedom of expression,” officials said of the theft at the exhibition, which opened its doors as scheduled at 5 PM.
One longtime Gaza-area resident, Canadian-born Miriam Goodman, told The Algemeiner that she was outraged by the exhibit.
“How could they display such incitement? To [call to] slaughter Jews, and ‘our blood and fire will redeem Palestine,’ sends chills down my back,” said Goodman, who lives nine kilometers from Gaza in the village of Ma’agalim.
“What came to mind was a Palestinian group in Canada that goes from city to city displaying art that they claim was drawn by children in Gaza showing our brave [IDF soldiers] as murderers.
“Sapir College is no better – no they are worse,” Goodman insisted, adding that, “Citing free speech always seems to be a good excuse for incitement. If Sapir College allows this display to be shown, it should lose all government funding.”
However, organizer Liav Mizrahi, a lecturer in the School of Art at the college, says that “The exhibition features works that express opinions on both sides of the Israeli artistic divide.”
The school said the artist would create a replacement amulet this evening.
College Student Union Chairman, Moran Baranes, who opposed the exhibition, said, “I don’t think this is the right way to deal with the problem; there are smarter ways to deal with such an extreme exhibition. The best way is to teach that another way is possible.”
Students opposed to the show are planning a protest rally in front of the exhibition on Wednesday.