I got e-mail this morning from Pictures on Walls about the annual low-concept art event, Santa’s Ghetto, put on by graffiti wizard Banksy and a few of his pals. This year they chose Bethlehem as the location for their annual Christmas shoppe in order to cast further attention on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
At first, I was a little pissed off by this concept. I thought that the whole thing was some sort of political wrangling in support of the Palestinians' war against Israel, but upon further investigation, I read on The Point page that, "We would like to make it very clear Santa’s Ghetto is not allied to ANY race, creed, religion, political organization or lobby group. As an organisation the only thing we’ll say on behalf of our artists is that we don’t speak on behalf of our artists. This show simply offers the ink-stained hand of friendship to ordinary people in an extraordinary situation.
Every shekel made in the store will be used on local projects for children and young people. Not one cent will go to any political groups, governmental institutions or, in fact, any grown-ups at all."
That put me a little more at ease about the exhibit. It seems that Banksy and his associates are interested in helping the Palestinian children and don't support the Palestinian call for the eradication of Israel. Personally, I have nothing against the Palestinians on an individual basis, I am just against their call for the destruction of Israel and the genocide of the Jewish people. I think the Palestinians and Israelis could come to an easy solution to their conflict if that weren't the case. Or if one of the neighboring Muslim countries were willing to contribute some of their land for a Palestinian homeland.
There are 230 million Muslims in the Middle East and only 6 million Jews squished into a country smaller than the state of Rhode Island. You would think that some place like Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, etc. would have a little extra land to support their fellow Muslims, but most of them also support the destruction of Israel, so that won't happen. At least Banksy and his crew are doing their part for a little peace and that is something to be thankful for this holiday season.