LONDON – Underwater artist Banksy has decided this week to promote Palestine, which created a provocative poster praised by the Palestinian Minister of Tourism and exasperated others who launched social media with Canadian Israeli art collector in London, who said, that the project was anti-Semitic.
Batia Ofer, wife of the London-based Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer, is known for her left-wing views on Israeli-Palestinian issues. Ofers also has an important collection after the war and contemporary art. However, Banksy's latest salvo was, as it is, a step too far.
"We are very pro-peace, but after I have said that, I will stand up for our right to exist when people try to raise us against us," Batia Ofer told Haaretz in an electronic exchange.
Saga began last Friday when Banksy, who recently shocked the artistic world with a single footprint after selling it for $ 1.4 million in Sotheby, announced on his Instagram account that he will show the replica of the separation of the barrier at the international international World Travel Market London. It is the largest fair in the world, with about 50,000 travel agencies operating with US $ 4.2 billion.
"Opening my first stall at the fair next week. I wrote a line to divide the replica for the promotion of the Walled Off Hotel … We will be on a Palestinian stand that will give free stuff," wrote Banksy, who added a picture of the work that it was shown: two gray concrete slabs – the imitation of the 700 – long wall separating Israel and the West Bank – and consisting of two angels representing Israel and Palestine who tried to dismantle the wall.
This is not the first time that Banksy has shown support for the Palestinian goal, or has also helped Palestine for the first time in its quest for tourism. Banskey nine-room Walled Off hotel in Bethlehem, which boasts a face-to-face offering "the worst look at any hotel in the world", has attracted more than 50,000 tourists since the opening of last March.
Palestinian Minister of Tourism Rula Maayah, who acknowledged Banksy that younger people would visit the West Bank, praised the artistic help at the fair this week for …[promoting] Palestine and [focusing] about occupation, and at the same time … talking about the beauty of Palestine. "While the organizers of the global tourist market have applauded the artist's attention to the social media.
It was not a surprise that the Palestinian booth, one of the smallest at the fair, was the city that happened when the event opened on Tuesday with hundreds of travel agents and other travel professionals to get insight into the mysterious artwork of the last.
None of this has disturbed Ofer, who says that all is for tourism in the West Bank and supports some Palestinian causes, including an annual scholarship that her and her husband set up for two Palestinian students (including two Israeli students) to attend Harvard Kennedy School.
What disturbed him was that the artist was limited to the only poster presented by the Palestinian team at the fair. The poster, promoted by Banksy on his Instagram, shows children who use the guard as a ride across the fairground. The slogan below it reads: "Visit historic Palestine, the Israeli army is so much loved that they never left!"
"You can criticize Israel for the current situation and I am a perfect solution for two countries and I fight for justice on both sides," returned Ofer, who turned to Banksy on artists and on his side of Instagram. "But it suggests that we do not have the right to exist … it is shameful, and the military service in Israel is obligatory!" So your poster condemns all Israelis! Your posters are similar to Nazi propaganda in the thirties and the spread of anti-Semitism @ banksy #antisemitism "
Ofer affirmed the image that circulated the social media to her publication – the version of the Banksy poster, which replaced the word "Palestine" with "Israel" and replaced the slogan Banksy with the slogan "Everybody is welcome for the only democracy in the Middle East" Children they are marked in the Ofer position with the names "Christian", "Palestinians", "Druze", Muslims, and – those with a rainbow flag – "LGBTQ".
Banksy has not responded yet.