Israeli Minister's Face Blacked Out in Nude Portrait for Art-school Show

Shenkar College President Yuli Tamir: 'Censorship' not politically motivated, the student artwork was simply sexist.

The president of a prominent Israeli art college said on Saturday that the decision to censor a nude painting of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked in a student exhibition was motivated not by political considerations but rather by the judgment that the work was hurtful toward women.
On Thursay, Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art President Yuli Tamir requested the censorship of “Sdinim” (Hebrew for sheets), by Yam Amrani. Tamir was herself the minister of science, culture and sport in 2006-2007 and served as education minister from 2006 to 2009. The head of the college’s art school, Larry Abramson, asked Amrani to either remove the work from the exhibition or to cover Shaked’s face so that the cabinet minister would be unidentifiable.
In a conversation with Haaretz, Amrani said he covered the portrait’s face to comply with Tamir’s request. He added that several people had urged him to remove the black oval and X now covering Shaked’s face.
“It’s a painful, fascist measure, any art lover would say the same. Larry [Abramson] said it’s something that should not be done at an art school, but that he has a boss,” Amrami said. Abramson declined to comment to Haaretz.
Speaking to Haaretz on Saturday, Tamir said that college administrators inferred from remarks made by Amrani that Shaked was the subject of “Sdinim,” even though the justice minister is not mentioned by name in the explanatory notes for the work.
“One may criticize,” Tamir said. “Personally, I think it’s a work of hurtful chauvinism and has nothing to do with politics. Had it been [Meretz chairwoman] Zehava Galon or [Joint List Knesset member] Haneen Zoabi, I would have made the same request.”
In the written material accompanying his final project, Amrani wrote: “Through ‘Sdinim,’ I am creating hybrids that cause a clash and dissonance among images ... neutralizing their functionality and inducing discomfort that conveys nihilism and an absence of a coherent position.”

Naama Riba
Haaretz Contributor
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Schermata 2016 07 20 alle 08.57.20

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives.

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