Famous British street artist Banksy has opened his new nine-room Walled Off Hotel facing the security wall that Israel erected between Bethlehem and Jerusalem to stop Palestinian suicide bombers from blowing up buses and cafes in the Israeli capital.
But Banksy doesn't care why Israel erected this wall. Detached as he is from reality, and protected by his anonymity, Banksy opened the hotel "with the worst view in the world" to convince Israelis and Palestinians that their bloody struggle is nothing more than a pillow fight between two immature adults.
Speaking to The Guardian, Banksy explained that “it’s exactly 100 years since Britain took control of Palestine and started rearranging the furniture – with chaotic results. I don’t know why, but it felt like a good time to reflect on what happens when the United Kingdom makes a huge political decision without fully comprehending the consequences.”
One of Banksy's works featured in the hotel depicts Lord Balfour signing his famous 1917 declaration designating mandatory Palestine as the Jewish home. Balfour is seen sitting in an office resembling an English gentlemen’s club from colonial times.
For Banksy, the West Bank and Gaza are the largest prisons in the world. And the walls, well, for one who has no idea what it's like to lose relatives to a suicide bomb, "the segregation wall is a disgrace."
The truth is that Israelis have long been fed up with these types of self-righteous artists who think for whatever reason that they have the right tell us how to live our lives. Little wonder that Reuven Berko, considered one of Israel's top experts on Arab affairs, pulls no punches in addressing Banksy's latest propaganda stunt.
Writing in the Hebrew daily _Israel Hayom, _Berko reports:
"[Banksy's] people explain on Facebook that he 'found the most charged scenery and turned the hotel into an anti-occupation presentation … the artistic boutique creates a different reality which invites going out of the automat while melting the walls with courage and wisdom.' These are lofty intellectual words for describing an anonymous and cowardly antisemite … who came from England to work against the Jews. Someone with really courage will notice upon exiting this trippy hotel that it's built in an area safely under Israeli control. What the hypocritical artist most wanted was security. Had he built the hotel deeper inside Bethlehem, Banksy knows well the hotel would have had a different kind of 'ugly view': the ghostly remnants of the once large Christian community that has since been raped, robbed and decimated by terrorist militias."