A mural on the south side of the Arbeter Ring/Workmen’s Circle Southern California campus at 1525 S. Robertson Blvd was defaced with graffiti that reads “Free Palestine!!!!”
The wall-sized mural [itself] – titled, ”A sheinere und besere velt,” according to the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles (a Yiddish phrase meaning, “A more beautiful and better world) – depicts cultural, biblical and historical imagery. The imagery includes a menorah, Israelites wandering in the desert, a young girl waving Israeli and American flags, and more.
What would your reaction be upon seeing it? Unfortunately, some people are still in the dark about the significance of this, and similar acts.
Robert Adler-Peckerar, executive director of the L.A.-based organization Yiddishkayt, which is a frequent collaborator with the national office and local branch of Workmen’s Circle, said the message of the graffiti reflects an ignorance about the mission of the victimized group. He described Workmen’s Circle as being historically committed to ideas of “social progress, equality, human rights, civil rights and the general pursuit of human dignity,” which includes promoting a “progressive, peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” he said.
“I feel like this [the graffiti] indicates something much more about thoughtlessness than about an actual commitment to a free Palestine,” Adler-Peckerar said in an interview. “And a tremendous amount of cultural illiteracy [on the vandal(s)’ part].” [my emphasis]
The director is wrong. The vandals were not ‘ignorant’ or ‘thoughtless’. They fully understood the connection of the Palestinian Cause to the destruction of the Jewish State, and the relationship of the Jewish state to the continued existence of the Jewish people. The graffiti expresses their negation of both Zionism and the Jewish people.
The apparent belief of the director that the Palestinian Cause that the vandals espouse has anything to do with “social progress, equality, human rights, civil rights and the general pursuit of human dignity” rather than racism and a desire to commit genocide, is a good example of another kind of illiteracy — the political illiteracy which prevents ‘progressive’ Jews from reading the ugly truth in front of their faces.
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