Newsletter : 5fax0929.txt
| Previous file
| Next file
Publisher\Editor Don Canaan
Sept. 29, 1995, V3, #178
All the News the Big Guys Missed
For subscriptions or back issues, please contact POL management
Settlers and Palestinians May Square-Off
By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)
The Minister of Religious Affairs in the Palestinian Autonomy
Authority has sparked a controversy, saying Jews will not have the
right to pray at holy sites that come under Palestinian control.
Other Palestinian officials have disavowed the comment, but Jewish
leaders in Israel are still angry and worried.
The controversial comment was made recently by Minister Hassan
Tahboub in an interview with the Associated Press. Taboub said Jews
would be allowed to visit holy sites under Palestinian control, but
not to pray there.
Israel's minister of police responded sharply, calling the comments
-- "The miserable expressions of a shortsighted man." Palestinian
officials were quick to say Taboub was not expressing official
policy. One official was Marwan Kanafani, the spokesman for the
Palestinian leader, Yasir Arafat.
"There is no question that whenever the Palestinian Authority is
in charge there will be free access to anybody belonging to any
religion to visit his religious sites and pray. We are obliged to
protect him and we are responsible for his well-being and his
comfort and you name it."
Kanafani says the Palestinian Authority has proved this through its
control of an old synagogue in autonomous Jericho, where Jews pray
daily under the protection of Palestinian police. But Kanafani also
says there will have to be negotiations about exactly which
religious sites Jews will have the right to visit and just what the
arrangements will be.
He says Tahboub's statement must be seen in the context of similar
extreme statements made by some Jews, particularly in the Israeli
Many Israelis are now concerned that under Palestinian control the
sites might be closed to Jews, as they were for the 19 years that
Jordan controlled the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Even with
promises that would not be true under Palestinian control,
religious Jews, including settlers who live near the holy sites,
are opposed to giving control of them to non-Jews. And in spite
of the promises made by Palestinian officials, such as Kanafani,
Israel's Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau is not willing to take a
"I do not see the need for it. I do not understand why do we
have to make this test. We always give a chance for everybody to
do what we call 'Tshuva,' to regret. First of all, do they regret?
Did they ask apology? What did they say? He has promised. We have
proved. That's the difference. Always, 47 years, open for
everyone. So there is a difference between promising and keeping."
Russian-Jewish Art Exhibit Opens in N.Y.
By Michele Kelemen (VOA-New York)
An exhibit described as the first comprehensive study of Russian
Jewish art has opened at the Jewish Museum in New York and features
more than 300 works by 50 artists. Visitors to the exhibit are
taken on a 100 year journey through history, from the czarist
period when Russian Jews emerged in the art world through the
fall of the Soviet Union.
Many of the paintings and sculptures in this exhibit do not have
explicitly Jewish themes. But, Columbia University history
Professor Michael Stanislawski explains it is the balance between
Jewish traditions and Russian and Soviet history that makes the new
exhibit so interesting.
Stanislawski -- a consulting curator for the exhibit at the Jewish
Museum -- says visitors will learn Jewish artists were central to
the evolution of new artistic styles in Russia and the Soviet
Visitors begin their journey in the final years of Imperial Russia
when restrictions on Jews began to ease and Jewish artists like
Isaak Levitan and Leonid Pasternak sought to participate fully in
Russian life. The exhibit also covers the impact of Jewish artists
during the Bolshevik revolution, the Stalin era, and the years
leading up to and including the demise of the Soviet Union.
The Stalin era is represented with heroic images of Stalin and a
classic of Soviet art: Isaak Brodsky's 1937 portrait of Lenin in
the Smolny Institute. The second floor of the exhibit in the
Jewish Museum is dedicated to nonconformist art of the 1960s and
'70s and more recent works, including Grisha Bruskin's 1987
AlefBet series, one of the only works in the second half of the
exhibit that features Jewish text and tradition.
The exhibit "Russian Jewish Artists in a Century of Change"
successfully merges history and art, and includes works from around
the world. It will be on display at the Jewish Museum in New York
for the next four months.
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)