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August 25, 2015 3:12 pm

Palestinian Artist Kicked Out of Banksy’s ‘Dismaland’ for Protesting Israeli Participation in Exhibit

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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From the Dismaland theme part, art gallery and event. Photo: Facebook.

From the ‘Dismaland’ theme park, art gallery and event. Photo: Facebook.

A Palestinian artist was kicked off the premises of a new “bemusement park” exhibit in Britain for protesting the presence of Israeli artists, the London-based, English-language edition of Al-Araby al-Jadeed reported on Tuesday.

According to the report, Shadi Alzaqzouq was escorted off the grounds of “Dismaland,” and told his paintings would be removed, after he placed a bed sheet over his work — with “R.I.P Gaza: Boycott Israel” written on it in coal – and laid it down “like a corpse” in front of his display.

He did this, he said, because he had not been informed by the event’s organizers that Israeli artists would be present.

Dismaland, a dark parody of Disneyland, set up Friday at the seaside resort of Weston-super-Mare, is the brainchild of British graffiti artist Banksy, whose real name remains a secret, but whose left-wing political activism, including open advocacy for Palestinians, is well-known.

In August 2005, Banksy painted nine pieces of graffiti on the security barrier erected between Israel and the Palestinian territories to keep Palestinian suicide bombers and other terrorists from easy access to Israeli civilians. Among these was a picture of Palestinian children trying to dig through the wall.

Alzaqzouq, thus, was surprised at the lack of sympathy his outrage at participating in a show along with Israeli counterparts elicited – particularly from Banksy, whom he described as “my hero for a long time.”

He told Al-Araby al-Jadeed that when he inquired about why his actions elicited such a harsh response, he was informed by Holly Cushing, believed to be Banksy’s manager, that his form of protest was too “ugly.”

According to Alzaqzouq — born to Palestinian parents in Benghazi, who lived in Libya, Gaza and Egypt before settling in France in 2007 — Cushing also said that an American art collector was interested in purchasing his pieces, “And that America and Israel were one and the same.”

The story does not end here, however. After the incident, Dismaland organizers did not take down Alzaqzouq’s pieces. Instead, they posted a sign on the display that reads: “The artist has decided to cover his work to protest being exhibited alongside artists from Israel. We are hoping to resolve the situation as soon as possible and apologise for any disappointment.”

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  • Steve Loeb

    “Palestinianism” is a mental disorder and left untreated can metastasize into a more serious mental disorder like Jihadism or severe anti Semitism which can become violent and even lead to murder

    “Palestinianism” is also one of the “gateways” to complete radicalization”

  • Shimon Tesler

    As Dr. J. Gebbels said, for the propaganda the goal is important.The liars will always win the battle (unfortunately).
    R.I.P Gaza means Gaza is dead – Another big lie.
    Alzaqzouq is an artist of lies.
    Best regards

  • hah

    Another so-called Palestinian born in Libya with Egyptian heritage.

  • An art display (whether I like the art or not)is an art display, not a political forum.

  • John Cohen

    Not only the artist should have been thrown out of the exhibition, so should his paintings. It’s scum like this that keeps anti Semitism alive and gives encouragement to terrorism.

    • fktheshills

      said the zionist

      • citizenstat

        said the know-nothing

  • marlene

    And this great act of justice was performed by one Holly Cushing. Wish there were more like her and a lot less shady shadis.

  • CGG

    It’s unfortunate that his work wasn’t taken down as stated. Banksy could actually have at least appeared to be even-handed in his criticism. It seems, however, that he may be caving to external pressures (BDS?) to leave the work up. So much for conviction. He has succumbed to the herd mentality and to anti-Semitic politics. My respect for him is gone.