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July 12, 2017 12:57 pm

Jewish, Zionist Groups Call for Canadian University to Take Down Art Exhibit Created By Sister of Palestinian Terrorist

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Western University. Photo: Western University website.

Jewish and pro-Israel groups have called on Canada’s Western University to take down an art exhibit, created by the sister of a Palestinian terrorist, currently being displayed at an on-campus gallery.
Representatives from Hillel Ontario, which oversees the Hillel Jewish centers at nine universities, and Stand With Us Canada (SWU) were both outraged by Western doctoral candidate Rehab Nazzal’s “Choreographies of Resistance,” described by Nazzal as depicting “the Palestinians’ experiences of resisting colonial violence.” The exhibit is being shown this month at the school’s McIntosh Gallery.

According to promotional material, the exhibit includes “an installation in which photographic images are projected onto hundreds of handmade slingshots as it pays tribute to Palestinians who have lost their lives in what the artist notes is an ‘intifada, or uprising.'”

Marc Newburgh, CEO of Hillel Ontario, told The Algemeiner, “We are disgusted by any attempt to justify or glorify Palestinian violence in the guise of art.”

“No minority on campus should feel that violence against their community is condoned through art, and Jewish and Israeli students should not be an exception,” said Newburgh. “Hillel has made its grave concerns with this exhibit directly known to the administration, and those conversations are ongoing.”

Nazzal is the sister of Khaled Nazzal, a former leader at the Palestinian Liberation Organization and Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestinian, and one of the people behind the 1974 massacre of 22 Israeli schoolchildren and their three teachers.

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Khaled, who was killed by Mossad agents in 1986, featured in Rehab’s 2014 exhibit at the Ottawa City Hall, which showcased the portraits and biographies of, as publicity material described it, “assassinated Palestinian figures…lost artists, writers and leaders,” several of whom conducted deadly attacks on civilians.

Meryle Kates, executive director of SWU Canada, told The Algemeiner the images in the exhibit were “inflammatory, incite violence and are pure propaganda of a terrorist movement.”

“I believe in free speech, freedom of expression and especially of the arts, but this is incitement to violence,” she said, adding that “conflating ‘resistance’ with the terrorist targeting and attacks to murder Israeli civilians is shocking.”

Kates called on the university to at least offer some some explanatory material in conjunction with Nazzal’s exhibit, information that would offer the “context” of the intifada and rock-throwing attacks.

Kates, who has not seen the exhibit, was particularly dismayed that Nazzal had received a grant of $35,000 in 2015 from the Canadian government’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for her work.

Jewish human rights group B’nai Brith Canada has also released a statement “strongly condemning” the exhibit.

Mitra Shreeram, the communications and outreach coordinator at the McIntosh Gallery, did not respond to requests for comment.

In 2016, Toronto’s York University came under fire for allowing the wall across from the student center to be covered with a mural depicting a figure wearing a keffiyeh bearing the Palestinian flag and a borderless map of Israel, while holding a rock behind his back.

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