B’nai Brith Canada praised a California art gallery for removing artwork by a Canadian Youtuber and former radio host with what it described as a ‘history of antisemitic conspiracy theories and rants.’
The advocacy organization said it was pleased that it has succeeded in its behind-the-scenes efforts to have the gallery remove the artwork by the Edmonton-based Bogdan Konikowski.
“The owners of Saatchi Art in Santa Monica, California responded positively to a B’nai Brith letter that informed them of the art by Bogdan Konikowski, called ‘Azja,’ which is Polish for Asia,” B’nai Brith said in a statement.
They noted that last November, Konikowski was the subject of a B’nai Brith release and subsequent news stories because of disturbing content on his show.
“After providing YouTube with the background materials, one particularly offensive episode was removed by the social media platform at that time. B’nai Brith is continuing to work with YouTube about the ongoing existence of his channels,” B’nai Brith said.
According to B’nai Brith, in June Konikowski called the war in Ukraine “one of the greatest pre-arranged concoctions in the history of mankind.” Alluding to Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s acting background and Jewish heritage, he claimed that the Ukrainian President was merely acting out a role. He also said the conflict was contrived to enable Jews to “take over Ukraine and get rid of Ukrainians and Poles.”
Konikowski also claimed that Jews orchestrated the conflict in Ukraine with the intention of removing the native Ukrainian population to build a “Celestial Jerusalem” in the ruins.
“We are pleased that Saatchi Art’s ownership quickly acted on our concerns about Bogdan Konikowski,” B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn said. “His conspiratorial and antisemitic ramblings are repulsive. We are greatly reassured to see Saatchi Art take this firm action.”