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.”
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Gidi Orsher earns culture minister's wrath with reviling stereotypical post.
Army Radio’s film critic Gidi Orsher has been suspended pending a hearing for posting comments reviling Mizrahim on his Facebook page on Saturday. Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev called for his outright dismissal.
Among his comments, Orsher said, directing his statements at Israelis of Mizrahi, or Middle Eastern origin: “Next time you have a heart attack, skip catheterization and use your grandmother’s remedy of putting a chicken leg on your head instead.” The next time there is a rocket attack, Mizrahim should “ignore the Iron Dome and recite Psalms or perhaps wait for the matriarch Rachel to protect you.” Mizrahim who have trouble conceiving, he said, should “continue the practice of praying for fertility at the graves of dead rabbis in the Galilee.”
Orsher also wrote: “And next time you want to publish your thoughts, leave the computer with its programs and applications developed by Israeli startups, and go back to writing on parchment, sending messages with bonfires and responding hysterically to the media (that, you do already).”
Army Radio commander Yaron Dekel suspended Orsher pending a hearing that will be held early next week.
Regev said: “Suspension is not enough. I demand that Orsher not set foot in a public station funded by public money. He and those like him must know that racism against Mizrahi communities has a heavy cost. Only then will we put an end to racism that leads to exclusion, discrimination and deprivation.
Regev said she had spoken to Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and had asked him “to begin the social justice revolution” at Army Radio that "Bogie was afraid to do,” referring to the former defense minister, Moshe Ya’alon, by his nickname.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said of Orsher’s post that “a man with such ignorant views has no place in public broadcasting in Israel.”
Among the politicians across the board expressing outrage at Orsher’s post, Lieberman said Orsher’s comments could not be interpreted as anything but “lashing out against an entire community” and that Orsher should be dismissed.
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