Seeing Red

Pride. Yes, that?s the word I?ve been searching for. It has been a while since any diplomatic move on the part of Israel has done me proud. What Zvi Maz?el, Israel?s ambassador to Sweden, did last Friday is a testimony to the tenacity of the Jewish spirit.

Ellen W. Horowitz,

Horowitz-r.jpg
Horowitz-r.jpg
Arutz 7
Pride. Yes, that?s the word I?ve been searching for. It has been a while since any diplomatic move on the part of Israel has done me proud. What Zvi Maz?el, Israel?s ambassador to Sweden, did last Friday is a testimony to the tenacity of the Jewish spirit.

It seems that the man who has tip-toed for years through Israel?s diplomatic minefield, smoothed ruffled feathers and sipped champagne at embassies in Cairo, Madagascar, Romania and Paris finally blew a fuse in Sweden.

Having served on the front lines of Israel?s diplomatic front, I bet Ambassador Maz?el has seen more than his share of anti-Semitism and affronts to Israel over the years. But every Jewish soul has its saturation point and it seems that "Snow White and the Madness of Truth" was too much for the red-headed ambassador.

So, he did the right thing and pulled the plug on the outrageous abomination in Stockholm's Museum of National Antiquities.

Art, or the lack thereof, is no longer the stuff reserved for discussion over cocktails in elite cultural circles. It is making headlines, because the public is fully aware that what hangs in the galleries and is heard in the concert halls is a direct reflection of the state of our society - and it?s not a pretty picture.

Several weeks ago, the British Cartoonist Society presented their top award to an artist who depicted a naked Prime Minister Ariel Sharon eating the head of a Palestinian baby. In response, I wrote an article that explored caricaturing and the crossing of forbidden lines. I would like to reiterate that what and how an artist draws or designs is a direct reflection on who that artist is and what kind of soul he or she has (take note, Mr. Feiler).

A few weeks later, Professor Menahem Alexenberg explored the dangers inherent in separating art and aesthetics from righteousness and ethics. He was disturbed by the awarding of the prestigious Wolf Prize to Daniel Barenboim. It seems that although the renowned conductor acknowledges the Wagnerian connection to the Holocaust, he nevertheless saw fit to break a taboo by playing Wagner?s music in the Jewish state.

Meanwhile, certain astronomers, geologists, writers and artists are intrigued by the discovery that, 120 years ago, the skies turned red over Oslo due to a cataclysmic volcanic explosion in Indonesia. They believe this may have inspired the artist Edvard Munch to paint his classic work ?The Scream? (the eruption may have also triggered an Islamic fundamentalist revolution). I addressed the issue of the existential scream as a sort of wake-up call, which can be heard via today?s earthshaking events and natural disasters.

Munch?s guts may have screamed upon viewing the blood-red sky over Oslo, and Maz?el reacted in a similar manner when he viewed the blood-red waters in Stockholm. Something shook-up the Israeli ambassador to the core - and that?s a healthy sign that his Jewish soul is alive and well, and living in Sweden. The same, however, cannot be said of Mr. Feiler. The Swedish-Israeli?s (is that an oxymoron?) soul is about as fit as the one he depicted on the little ship that drifts in the bloody pool.

There are limits to artistic expression, freedom of speech, diplomacy and democracy. There are also limits as to how much an individual Jewish soul, or the Jewish nation, will take.

So let?s bring this international incident to a close by saying ?bravo? to Israeli Ambassador Zvi Maz?el and letting Dror Feiler sail into the Swedish sunset via the bloody waters that people like him helped create.





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