The French Jewish organization Conseil Representatif des Institutions Juives de France (CRIF) expressed “outrage” this week in response to an exhibition by a German photojournalist at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris.
The exhibition, which opened earlier in the week, depicts Palestinian Authority Arab residents of Gaza who were mutilated during Israel's three-week counter terrorism Operation Cast Lead war against the region's Hamas terrorist rulers in the winter of 2008-2009.
“Kai Wiedenhofer, known for his virulently anti-Israel views, does not just show the victims of war operations, as there are unfortunately in all armed conflicts,” observed the organization in a statement posted on its website.
Wiedenhofer also documented reconstruction in the region that has taken place since January 2009 in order to meet the requirements set by the award committee of the Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Prize competition that arranged the exhibition.
However, the photojournalist has been involved with life in Judea, Samaria and Gaza long before that. Since 1989, Wiedenhofer has worked in the Middle East, including Israel. He studied Arabic in Damascus and currently works with Lookat Photos in Switzerland.
“He wants to ignore that many Israelis also have been victimized and permanently scarred by the attacks of which the greater part have been organized by Hamas, which exercises an iron law of hate in Gaza,” CRIF said.
“This focus against Israel is an act of political activism should not be accepted by the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, which is under the responsibility of the city of Paris,” the organization added.
CRIF researcher Mark Knobel told the European Jewish Press his group, which serves as the umbrella for all Jewish organizations in France, was surprised the museum had agreed to the show. “We are surprised that the museum shelters an exhibition as political as this one because this is clearly not its vocation,” Knobel said.
The director of the museum, Fabrice Hergott, explained to the AFP news agency the exhibition had come as part of a contract with Carmignac Management, “the museum's patron.” The museum does not interfere with the content of its exhibitions, he said.
Nevertheless, a subsequent thorough search of the museum's website on Wednesday by Israel National News did not reveal any mention of the exhibition either in French or in English, nor any indication that it was either currently being shown, or was scheduled to appear.