Israel’s ambassador to Sweden vandalized a work of “art” approving of Palestinian terrorism, and while I do not agree with the form of his action, I agree with its spirit. Here’s the best part of New York Sun columnist Hillel Halkin’s column on the subject:

[The] “artistic installation” depict[ed] the young Palestinian woman who carried out the Maxim bombing, Hanadi Jaradat, as Snow White floating in a pool of blood-colored liquid beside a lyrical text….

Jaradat would have gladly murdered me too; the text, which concluded with the line “and the red [of the blood shed in the restaurant] looked beautiful upon the white [of Jaradat’s clothing in the floating photograph of her],” made it clear that the artist… sympathized with what she did; and so the museum’s exhibit, ironically meant to accompany an international conference on genocide set to open in Stockholm next week, was in effect approving of my and my family’s murder.

… Nor did I, in my first reaction, give a damn for the Swedish government’s declaration that it was “unacceptable” for him “to destroy art”–not when the art in question was proposing to destroy me. (The ambassador did not, by the way, destroy the installation, but rather disconnected the electricity illuminating it and tossed one of its spotlights into the liquid.)

… [I]t is nonsense to criticize the Israeli ambassador, as the Swedish government and press have done, for his contempt of “artistic freedom” or his disrespect for the boundaries between politics and art. The first to erase these boundaries have been artists such as Mr. Feiler…. Nor is there any such thing as a purely aesthetic response to [his work]. There is only a political response, which is precisely what Mr. Mazel’s response was.

Perhaps this response should have been more subtle. Perhaps the ambassador should have thrown into the liquid not a spotlight but 21 photographs of the dead at Maxim’s and let Mr. Feiler fish them out one by one. Alas, he is only a diplomat, not a conceptual artist.

Notwithstanding Mr. Halkin’s argument, if the work in question doesn’t fall within the legitimate legal boundaries of incitement, the law is bound to protect it and to forcibly prevent actions such as the ambassador’s. But one wonders what the reaction would have been to an “artistic installation” that had a picture of Hanadi Jaradat immersed in a jar of urine, say…

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