One of the most famous art museums in the world is featuring an exhibition by a Palestinian that glorifies Palestinian terrorists who died during the 2000-2005 intifada. The Jeu de Paume, which once featured the greatest works of French Impressionists but is now devoted to contemporary art, notably photography, is now home to a work titled “Phantom Home,” a series of photographs by a woman named Ahlam Shibli.
“Phantom Home” includes a section called “Death,” which shows how Palestinians who died during the intifada are commemorated in refugee camps in or near the city of Nablus. Shibli claims that 500 Nablus Arabs were killed, with another 3,000 injured. One photograph shows a Palestinian mother proudly holding a photo of her son, a suicide bomber who murdered 19 Israelis in a bus attack in 2002. Other photos depict suicide bombers from the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, named as a terrorist organization by European Union and the United States. Another part of the series, titled “Trackers,” vilifies Bedouins who volunteer in the Israeli army. Shibli implies that they are traitors to the Palestinian cause.
Roger Cukierman, president of CRIF, the leading Jewish group in France, said, “This is unacceptable. You have the right to be shocked when an apology for terrorists is made in the heart of Paris. And to think this is a state-funded museum. There must be more vigilance. One minute France is fighting terrorists in Mali, and then celebrating the same ones here.”
Shibli, of course, makes no mention of the more than 1,000 Israelis killed during that period, and of course would never mention the Ramallah lynching two weeks after the intifada started where two Israeli army reservists unwittingly passed an Israeli checkpoint, wound up in a Ramallah police station, were ravaged, stabbed, had their eyes gouged out, and were disemboweled. This was followed by the infamous moment when one of the lynchers, Aziz Salha, waved his hands covered with the blood of the victims outside the window to a cheering crowd outside.
There was a demonstration by 30 demonstrators waving Israeli flags on June 16; but the Jeu de Paume warned it will take legal action if the show is disrupted.
Neuflize Vie, which supported the exhibit, is a subsidiary of the Dutch bank ABN AMRO, which is controlled by the Dutch State.