Cheap Propaganda, Masquerading as Art, Comes to a Boutique Hotel in the West Bank

March 9, 2017 | Reuven Berko
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To some fanfare, a new hotel has opened in the West Bank city of Bethlehem decorated with the work of the British graffiti artist who goes by the name Banksy. The artist describes his “Walled-Off Hotel,” which overlooks the security barrier cordoning off parts of the West Bank, as having “the worst view in the world.” Reuven Berko comments:

Banksy (who has never revealed his true identity) is calling for courage, but is protesting anonymously. His people explain on Facebook that he has taken the “loaded” view and turned the hotel into an “installation” against the occupation. They explain that the artistic boutique hotel creates a different reality through melting walls, courage and wisdom, creating change, and making art. What lofty . . . expressions to describe an anonymous anti-Semitic coward who refuses to identify himself or appear in the media, [and] who came here from England to operate against Jews. . . .

If Banksy looked out from his hotel at Bethlehem itself, he would see a particularly ugly view: the ghosts of a large Christian community that was wiped out by Bedouin rapists and Islamists from Hebron who stole the Christian bodies, souls, and property.

If Banksy had wanted to gaze at an ugly view, he’d look at the glass façade of the Park Hotel in Netanya, where he can envision the bodies of the Jews murdered by a Palestinian suicide bomber while celebrating Passover there, when there was still no fence. Banksy might call the blood spilled on the walls and the floor “psychedelic conceptual art in a hotel of occupation.” He hasn’t shown his face there.

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