A London-based Israeli art collector is unhappy with Banksy’s depiction of Israel’s occupation in Palestine.
Philanthropist Batia Ofer branded Banksy’s recent poster, which the anonymous British street artist made free for all to download, as “anti-semitic” as opposed to being artistic.
The graphic, created to encourage tourism in the West Bank, features children at a fair, riding around a watchtower. The slogan beneath reads, “Visit historic Palestine, the Israeli army likes it so much they never left!”
The limited edition poster was made available for free at the tourism fair World Travel Market London. Palestinian authorities, including Palestine Tourism Minister Rula Maayah, applauded Banksy for the poster as it appeals to youths, and gives them a glimpse of the Israeli occupation.
Ofer, however, has critiqued the artwork for going one step too far in condemning Israel for the present situation and took to Instagram to vent her anger.
She wrote, “You may criticize Israel for the current situation and I’m totally for a two state solution and fight for justice on both sides! BUT insinuating we don’t have a right to exist suggesting Israel has no right to ANY land is disgraceful. In addition – military service in Israel is mandatory! So your poster is denouncing all Israelis! Your posters resemble Nazi propaganda in the 1930s and spread antisemitism.”
A redesign of the poster, created by producer @diwon and artist @seyxyes, was subsequently shared to Ofer’s Instagram with the words, “Visit Historic Israel… All are welcome to the only democracy in the Middle East.” The children featured inside the redesign were tagged with labels such as Muslim, Palestinian, Christian, Israeli and LGBTQ.
This is not the first time Banksy has helped with Palestine’s tourism efforts. The anonymous British street artist’s Walled Off Hotel, located in Bethlehem, has attracted over 50,000 tourists since it first opened in March.
Our reply to you @banksy. You may criticise Israel for the current situation and I’m totally for a two state solution and fight for justice on both sides! BUT insinuating we don’t have a right to exist (which is exactly what your poster does using the term “historic Palestine”) suggesting Israel has no right to ANY land is disgraceful. In addition- military service in Israel is mandatory for all women and men! So your poster is denouncing all Israelis! Your posters resemble Nazi propaganda in the 1930s and spread antisemitism @banksy #antisemitism Thank you @diwon and @seyxyes for making this poster![via Haaretz, opening image via Banksy] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/402385/Israeli-Art-Collector-Criticizes-Banksy-s-Palestine-Poster-Shares-Its-Redesign/
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