# 25 – Art in Sweden by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
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# 25 – Art in Sweden

Helping others to understand Israel - and Israelis to understand others...
  • Joined Sep 2016
  • Published Books 409
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January 18, 2004

Happy New Year to you . Gotta remain optimistic. The sun was shining today; that was a start.

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And on BBC’s Talking Point today, the new President of Georgia, …..shvili, was interviewed and questioned by e-mail and calls from around the World. He was questioned about his wife, who is Dutch, and her influence on him and his politics. Will Georgia join the European Community, what were his views about women in society, homosexuality, drugs etc. etc. He started his answer in such a loving way. His wife is so loved in Georgian society; she has been taken to the people’s hearts. In fact, he said, she would be the only one who could have beaten him in the presidential election. That’s love for you.

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Does Dror Feiler mean anything to you? He’s a very left-wing anarchistic musician and composer, born in Israel, living since ’73 in Sweden, married to a Swedish ‘artist’.  Together, they created something called ‘Snow White and the Madness of Truth’. It has a piece of white wood that’s made to look like a boat, with a piece of paper stuck on it to look like a sail, with a picture of the female suicide bomber who blew up a restaurant near Haifa last year, killing 21 Israelis, Jews and Arabs. The ‘boat’ is floating in a sea of what looks like blood.

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[Reminds me of the portrait of Myra Hindley in some British exhibition last year. She is the infamous Moors’ Murderer, having killed 2 kids some 30 years ago. The portrait was a mass of kids’ handprints stippled in such a way as to create the image of Ms Hindley. There was understandable outrage…]

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The Swedish expo was attended by the Israeli ambassador, Zvi Mazel (which means lucky deer), who had been invited to attend the exhibition at the Museum of Nat’l Antiquities in Stockholm. Upon seeing this ‘thing’, the ambassador was sickened. His immediate and perhaps undiplomatic reaction was to pull the plugs of a couple of the exhibit’s spotlights, one of which apparently fell into the ‘blood’.

Not exactly knife-wielding stuff. But it has created a diplomatic incident. The Swedish Govt has summoned Mazel for an explanation. What dummies! What explanation do they want? A groveling apology perhaps…

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Feiler and his wife are basking in the publicity – “This is art” and all that crap. Yes, he has composed some ‘music’, but taking a look at his work on the Net (the least I can do if I am to criticize him) , one can see what kind of guy he is, with titles such as “Shrapnel”, “Intifada”, “Let the Millionaires go Naked” and “You’re Dead”.

Perhaps Mazel should have held up a placard outside. But can you really blame the guy. Where’s the limit to free speech and expression?

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A horrible P.S. to this story: I recognized the face of the suicide killer on the front of the Jerusalem Post. It is the face I cannot forget; that someone sent me last year, a day after the attack. The face belonged to a head on the pavement outside the restaurant. The head was just ‘standing’ there – nothing else. That’s what we have to force to the back of our minds while trying to get on with our lives.

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I walked Aviva to bridge classes today. It takes us through our local shopping centre: at least half a dozen cafes, the usual boutiques, speciality food stores, gifts, flowers, hairdressers. You name it. Sitting on one of the benches next to the fountain were an Arab couple. She, rather overdressed in scarf and all the usual paraphernalia, he also apparently overdressed, cloaks and all, mobile in hand. My initial reaction was the usual one: ain’t it something that this open society can accept such a scene as normal under such abnormal circumstances. Aviva’s reaction: could this be another suicide bomb in the making; let’s make a wide berth. Should we inform security? Isn’t it better to be safe?

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Aviva’s reaction is so understandable: we just had an attack with a twist. The first ‘official’ female Hamas suicide killer. This mother of 2 got through the Erez border crossing with Gaza, where 1000s of Palestinians still cross every day to get work in Israel (perhaps one should re-read that sentence). When the metal detector’s alarm went off, she said it was the metal splint in her leg. She started crying. She was escorted inside the compound for a separate body-check. One female guard’s life was saved because she went 20 meters to get a pair of the standard gloves worn when checking for explosives.

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That was when the button was pressed and 4 Israelis were killed, 3 of them recently-arrived Russian immigrants, happily integrating into Israeli society. Now they’re certainly ‘one of us’.

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Security…it’s become part of at least the travellers’ daily lives. Come to Israel and it’s part of everyone’s daily lives. But let’s get back to the travelers. I have a complaint….

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Waiting areas are usually places where TV screens are placed, seats are available, tickets issued to save you standing in line, coffee and water machines in place, magazines and newspapers available. (Go to some Disneyworld or equivalent, and see them do everything in their power to make life a little easier for the ‘waiter’). So what’s with the security areas, primarily at airports. Surely  you have all experienced the frustration of the wait. Not even a sign of a sign, saying perhaps: “We apologise for the delay; we are doing our best to ensure your safety. Please read a book”.

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This used to be such a glamorous job.

Have a good day,

   Stephen

PS – Eliana bought her first motorbike last week – actually one of those 50cc things. Got its first scratches yesterday (and hers). Seems the bike tried to park without Eliana….

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