December 13, 2006, - 11:50 am
ABSURD: USA Today Claims ART is “Victim . . . of Israeli Bombardment of Lebanon”; U.S. Tax $s to “Compensate” Muslims 4 “Destroyed” “Art”
By Debbie Schlussel
Back in August, USA Today devoted its entire op-ed page to Palestinian activist George Bisharat’s absurd claim that the “real victim” of Israel’s responsive war to Hezbollah were the “beauty of Beirut” (which were ruined LONG AGO by his fellow Palestinians, NOT Israel).
Since that didn’t fool anyone, USA Today is at it again. Today, the entire USA Today op-ed page is dedicated to Muslim Souheila Al-Jadda’s absurd article about how “Lebanese Art” (translation: Extremist Islamic “art”) is the real “victim” of the “Israeli bombardment of Lebanon.”
Incredible. Two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped by Hezbollah. They’re probably dead (likely after much torture). Hezbollah increased its decades old bombardment of Israeli with rockets, killing several. And USA Today, devotes two editorial pages to whining about Israel’s alleged destruction of the decrepit Beirut view and some art featuring women in hijabs. We’re supposed to care that some ugly paintings of ugly women were destroyed and the people of Lebanon were saved by the bombs of Israel from having to view this ugliness another day.
I’m waiting for the article about how the evil Jews destroyed Lebanon’s infected pets, insects, weeds, amoebae, and disease-causing bacteria.
Incredibly, there is a “donors’ conference” (translation: U.S. Tax Money!!!!!!) to “compensate” these violent Hezbollah lovers for their “lost” “art.” Un-fricking-believable.
And get this: Al-Jadda, who is–incredibly–on USA Today’s Board of Contributors–glorifies a woman’s song honoring Hezbollah leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah. Regrettably, the song and its author were not “victims” of the “Israeli bombardment.” But apparently, USA Today has a new editorial policy: Hezbollah terrorists are no longer just “militants.” They are now “Lebanese resistance fighters.”
Here are some excerpts from this absurd thesis in Islamo-Psychobabblish:
A dozen of the most prominent Lebanese artists, and possibly more, reportedly lost their works in the Israeli bombardment of Lebanon this summer. Their numbers might be small, but the loss of such artworks can have lasting effects on Lebanese society and culture [DS: as apposed to decades of Palestinian and Hezbollah rape, torture, and murder, which had "no" lasting effects]. As in Iraq and other war zones, the nation’s identity falls victim to violence, sometimes to be replaced with a new, wounded culture that carries the resentments of past conflicts. “This war was very hard on us,” [artist Youssef] Ghazawi said in a telephone interview from Beirut. He has had artworks destroyed in conflicts three times during his lifetime. “I couldn’t save them this time.”
Rising Lebanese artist Nour Ballouk also lost her home (left) in Nabatiya and eight of her paintings inside during the war. Her workshop was severely damaged. Ballouk believes this war was partly aimed at erasing Lebanon’s Arab and Lebanese identity by igniting divisions in the country along sectarian, religious and political lines. [DS: So that's why Israel went in to Lebanon and lost many soldiers--to erase Lebanon's Arab and Lebanese identity. It had nothing to do with the kidnapping of two soldiers and the decades-long bombardment of Israel with deadly rockets, right?] . . . .
“I will not stop painting,” Ballouk said. “Rather than paint about peace, I will be painting about war, showing what happened in Lebanon.”
Ballouk’s resolve to portray Lebanese history through the arts reminded me of first lady Dolley Madison’s determination to keep American art history alive during the British-American war of 1812. In 1814, before British troops set fire to the White House, she saved the famed Gilbert Stuart portrait of President George Washington from destruction by ordering it removed from the frame and brought to safety. [DS: PUH-LEEZE. Dolley Madison and Gilbert Stuart are turning over in their graves.]
Museums of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the Halls of Congress and the White House walls are all lined with similar paintings depicting U.S. history. First lady Madison must have understood the priceless value of the arts to a nation’s heritage. [DS: I repeat, PUH-LEEZE.]
Paintings by famed artists can be worth millions of dollars, such as Vincent Van Gogh’s The Starry Night or one of Wassily Kandinsky’s Compositions. An estimated $100 million worth of artworks were lost in the Sept. 11 attacks. But no dollar amount can be assigned to the loss of a nation’s qualitative cultural and social identity. [DS: Van Gogh, his descendant Theo (murdered by Muslims), and Kandinsky, are turning over in their graves, too.]
How does one quantify the loss to Iraqi civilization after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, when art galleries and museums housing ancient artifacts and paintings were looted or destroyed?
How does one enumerate the damage to the collective conscience of the Palestinian people after Israeli forces raided the Palestinian Ministry of Culture and the Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center in 2002, destroying and defacing art pieces and artifacts? [DS: Can't be quantified. The tremendous service the Israelis performed by raiding this propagandist "cultural center" of nursery-school quality "art" is priceless.]
Conflicts can destroy relics of history, but they cannot destroy the human spirit to create a better future on the foundations of an often troubled past.
Saeed, a Palestinian farmer in the Gaza Strip, collects and paints the shrapnel from the hundreds of Israeli missiles that have landed in his fields, turning tools of war into instruments of peace. [DS: People in Israel collect shrapnel and body parts of hundreds of victims of Palestinian homicide bombings. Fortunately, human remains can't be turned into crappy "art."] “We should not be depressed by living among the weapons of death around us,” he told Egypt’s Nile TV. “Instead, we decided to use them as toys for children and artwork. … So we started painting the missiles.” [DS: Again, Israelis can't paint and put on display the bodies of the innocent Jews and Christians murderer by Palestinian homicide bombers. Their "artwork" are the hundreds of headstones dotting cemeteries throughout the nation. And the labels on baggies of remains of blown-up bodies, after DNA testing has been done.] . . .
Perhaps to begin the process of national healing in Iraq, one prominent Iraqi artist, Qasim Sabti, opened his gallery in Baghdad for artists to exhibit their renditions of the Abu Ghraib scandal through sculptures and paintings.
In September, in a southern suburb of Beirut, under tents and atop the rubble of bombed-out buildings, artists showcased their creative works that were inspired by the Israeli-Lebanese war.
Several Lebanese music artists, such as Julia Boutros, composed songs about the war. Boutros released a single and music video, entitled My Loved Ones. The song’s lyrics were adapted from a speech made by Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah to Lebanese resistance fighters [DS Translation: terrorists] during the war. . . .
For now, an international donors’ conference is scheduled for January in Paris, where representatives from countries throughout the world will meet to pledge funds to assist Lebanon’s development and reconstruction. Consideration must be given to artists such as Ghazawi and Ballouk to help them recover some of what they’ve lost. [DS Translation: U.S. Tax $$$$ soon to pay-off Hezbo "artists."]
Such compensation will never bring back any of the destroyed works, but perhaps it could bring some consolation to the art community in Lebanon and the heritage of the Lebanese people.
A page from USA Today that could have come from the Islamic Republic News Agency of Iran.
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