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Thursday, September 3, 2009

‘Female bomber’ exhibit sparks fury in Israel

By Dan Wooding in Jerusalem
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL (ANS) -- An art exhibit depicting various female Palestinian suicide bombers as the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus, which opened at the Sokolov House press center in Tel Aviv on Thursday, was quickly taken down following an outcry from the families of those killed or wounded in the attacks, as well as by organizations that represent terror victims.

This has been revealed in an article written by Abe Selig in the Jerusalem Post.

“The exhibit, which featured the work of artists Galina Bleich and Liliah Check, consisted of a series of paintings of the women - some with halos around their heads - rendered to look like Renaissance-era portraits of Catholic saints,” said Selig.

“Sokolov House agreed to take the portraits down on Thursday afternoon, but another section of the exhibit - sand and dirt that had been taken from the scenes of the bombings and spread out across canvas - remained on the gallery's walls.”

The artists defended their work on Thursday, but the victims' families expressed outrage over both the content of the exhibition and the fact that Sokolov House, the headquarters of the Israeli Journalists Association, had agreed to show it.

He went on to say that Dalit Levy, whose 17-year-old stepdaughter Rachel was killed in a suicide bombing as she shopped at the Supersol supermarket in Jerusalem's Kiryat Hayovel neighborhood on March 29, 2002, along with the store's security guard, Haim Smadar, 55, arrived outside Sokolov House on Thursday afternoon with an Israeli flag draped over her shoulders, and placed plastic sheeting on the sidewalk.

“You want art?” she asked a group of reporters who had gathered around her. “Here's art!” she said, before spilling a can of red paint next to a photograph of her stepdaughter and two memorial candles. “This is the blood of our children!”

Selig stated that Almagor, The Association for Terror Victims in Israel, also issued a stern response to the exhibit, and threatened to take legal action if the portraits were not taken down.

“Nahum Sokolov [for whom Sokolov House is named] is rolling in his grave today,” said Almagor's chairman, Meir Indor.

“We've contacted the attorney-general and asked him to take legal action against the exhibition's representatives,” he added. “Any action that strengthens or praises the murderous acts of terrorism is violating the law and hurting the general public by legitimizing the murders.”

Indor said his group was worried the artists would try to show the exhibit elsewhere.

“We've been in contact with the artists, and made it clear that we want them to add information to the material so that people will understand that this is not promoting terrorism, but against it,” he said.

“But at this point it's unclear if they are willing to agree to that. As it stands, if they continue to show the work the way it is now, we will obviously continue our struggle against it.”

Dan Wooding, 68, is an award winning British journalist now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for 46 years. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS). He was, for ten years, a commentator, on the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC., and now hosts the weekly “Front Page Radio” show on KWVE in Southern California and which is also carried on the Calvary Radio Network throughout the United States. The program is also aired in Great Britain on UCB UK and Calvary Chapel Radio UK. Wooding is the author of some 43 books. Two of the latest include his autobiography, “From Tabloid to Truth”, which is published by Theatron Books. To order a copy, go to . E-mail: Wooding, who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, also recently released “God’s Ambassadors in Japan” which is available at

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