Op-Ed: I Am Going to Vandalize the Vile Museum in Paris
Giulio MeottiThe writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly...
When you don’t protest it allows things to get worse and worse.
What would Jews or other people with a conscience do if a famous museum in London, Paris, Berlin, Madrid or Rome glorified the Holocaust through the exhibition of Jewish ashes, bones, glasses and hairs? I imagine, or at least I hope, that some brave Jew would smash these “artistic artifacts”. Because any person, regardless of his faith and political ideas, would have to find that kind of exhibition disgraceful and intolerable.
That is why I am planning to visit Paris within the next few weeks. I will stop at the Jeu de Paume museum, Place de la Concorde. Not to contemplate the wonderful paintings of Degas, Monet, Cézanne, Van Gogh or Renoir. No, I will be there to vandalize the Palestinian Arab photos exhibited there, which calli to murder Jewish children, teenagers, mothers with infants and elderly couples in the land of Israel.
The Jeu de Paume’s vile exhibition of 68 photos entitled “Death”, by Ahlam Shibli, glorifies Palestinian terrorists who burned Jewish flesh. I am wondering why no Jewish intellectual or activist has smashed this “artistic exhibition” which commemorates Palestinian Arab hyenas, the terrorists of the “road without glory”, as the Jewish Resistance member Bernard Fall called it. Ambassador Zvi Mazel did it in 2004 with a similar, satanic show in Stockholm.
The Jeu de Paume’s exhibition is running until September 1, 2013. It’s not too late to make a striking protest that European public opinon will find impossible to ignore. Because there is no difference between the current glorification of Arab terrorism and a museum glorifying the selections done by the Nazi doctors in Birkenau.
And the irony is that those who opened the door of the Jeu de Paume to Palestinian Arab terrorism are the grandchildren of the beaurocrats who willingly used the Jeu de Paume for Nazi loathing and killing.
In Chelmno’s extermination camp, 150,000 Jews disappeared in a few months. “There was always a great silence, even when they were burning two thousand people a day”, said Simon Srebnik, one of only two Chelmno survivors, who died of cancer in Israel in 2006. “No one shouted; there was great calm and tranquility.”
That sensation is relived today in the silence observed on Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, when thoughts turn to the names of the dead, but above all in the eerie one minute of silence that follows a terrorist attack in the middle of a crowd or on a bus. Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, the ultra-Orthodox Jew who founded the organization Zaka that identifies the victims of terror attacks, explains that “after the bomb goes off everything is quiet”.
The silence of Chelmno and the silence after a Palestinian Arab suicide bombing, the Zyklon B of the Nazis and the explosive belts have this in common: the total destruction of the Jewish victim.
For a long time, Israel’s suffering under Arab terrorism has been swallowed up in the amoral and guilty equivalence drawn between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs, which explains nothing about that perennial conflict and even blurs it to the point of its vanishing. The Jeu de Paume has reached the second, more lethal stage: the museum’s invisible tagline says “Jews are vermin, Arabs are liberators”.
We cannot accept the travesty - that a symbol of the historic glory of Europe’s culture, the museum constructed in 1861 by Napoleon which hosted the masterpieces of impressionism, gives an uncontested stage to the new mass murderers of the Jewish people. This current, surreal praise of Arab cannibalism and slaughter must be stopped somehow.
We can splash paint over the photos at the Jeu de Paume, we can dirty the captions, we can kick the panels, we can campaign outside the museum and explain to visitors that “terrorism is evil, don’t condone it”. We must leave this deadly show in the heart of Paris in ruins.
Because words and images kill.