Friday, November 19, 2004

NY Assemblyman threatened by arts & crafts and free expression

Check out this snippet of news from the Arab American Institute:

The Associated Press reports that New York Assemblyman Ryan Karben (D) is calling for the cancellation of “an exhibit of Palestinian art and crafts, scheduled for a one-day display in a building owned by Westchester County,” because, he claims, “it is anti-Israel and ‘promotes terrorism and violence.’” Karben “based his objections on artworks from another exhibit, also called ‘Made in Palestine,’” displayed last year in Houston, even though the works from that exhibit will only “be shown in a PowerPoint presentation, ” (though the exhibit will show some of the same artists and was created to help bring the Houston exhibit to New York). According to Karben’s spokesman Aaron Troodler, “Whether they are in a display case or on a projection screen, these divisive and anti-Israel pieces that glorify terrorism have no business being displayed.” But the exhibit’s curator Haifa Bint-Kadi, “denied the charges, saying that while some of the art deals with Israel’s military presence in the Palestinian territories…‘what comes through is the desire for a peaceful life.’” She also “said she was disappointed that Karben would ‘make something divisive out of this, when what we’re trying to do is get people to know one another rather than do harm to one another.’” What exactly is the problem here? Is only one side of the story valid?

So... this Ryan Karbel fellow has a problem with peoples' freedom of expression? The freedom issue aside, I also didn't realize that Westchester County, NY was part of Israel; oh wait, it isn't! It's one thing for an American to be unnerved by something that he/she considers to be "anti-American"(although censorship is never justifiable), but Karbel wants to toss the Constitution aside for the benefit of combatting arts and crafts that supposedly, in his incorrect opinion, are "anti-Israel"? And how do arts and crafts promote terrorism?

I wonder if Karbel had a problem with the embarrasing "freedom fries" ordeal a couple of years ago. My guess is that he appreciated it, even though one could argue that such a name change is "anti-France". While some may not care about France, what does it say about people who approve of the criticism of some countries while looking to forcibly eliminate criticism of other countries?

At the very least, I'd say that Karbel may need to seek help for his unhealthy fear of freedom, not to mention arts and crafts.


Anonymous Les Legato said...

The "art show" was nothing more than a propaganda move by the so-called "palestinians" to get idiots to listen to their bullshit, so you would be more favorable to handing over half of Israel for a new islamic terror state.


6:47 PM  

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