“Goldsmiths Made Me a Fundamentalist” – Noam Edry

On Thursday 14 July you are all invited to the opening of my show “Conversation Pieces: Scenes of Unfashionable Life”, a mini solo-show at the rear of the Baths Studios of Goldsmiths College as part of the MFA Fine Art Degree Show. It comprises of painting, sculpture, video and live performances all dealing with the Arab-Israeli conflict from my own Israeli point of view. Call it a Zionist show, call it what you like. If anyone would have told me two years ago, when I came to London to start my MA in Fine Art, that I would be making a show about the conflict, I would have laughed straight away. I had always thought of myself as a-political. I never thought I had an opinion about politics, right, wrong, I only knew one thing: that I didn’t know. That things were not as simple or clear-cut as a black and white painting and that there were so many other issues I could address as an artist.

But then on my first day at Goldsmiths I was confronted by propaganda posters on the student union walls calling my country an “apartheid state”. It was the first time I had heard of it. Apartheid. How? In what way? I went to art school in Jerusalem with fellow Arab artists. We built our exhibitions together side by side, helping each other. I served in the Israeli army with Arabs and ate the same oily army food with them, and consoled myself with the same Arabic coffee that we brewed together in a small makeshift pot. My own army commander was Druze. All of a sudden I felt threatened and unwelcome here in Britain. I grew up in London from the age of five until I was seventeen but this was a very different London than the one I remembered so fondly.

In the first year at Goldsmiths I lay low, I tried fitting in, I refused to make work about my Israeli identity or anything that had to do with it. But it was simply not good enough. Because I was constantly confronted with questions, accusations, labels. It would happen on the way back from a party or over a casual cup of coffee. I saw more posters and protests and boycotts slandering my home, the place that made me who I am, a place that was barely recognisable in those posters. I saw the crass misrepresentation of my region and its de-legitimisation on a daily basis and I felt powerless. I did not have the words, I did not have the flashy slogans and the fashionable labels.

When I attended a meeting of the Palestine Twinning Campaign at Goldsmiths I felt like it was 1939 all over again. I was expecting a real dialogue but instead they were calling for academic boycotts of Israel, they were rallying young students who were desperate to be passionate about something to silence people like me; to silence artists and intellectuals who believe in human beings and mutual tolerance, who are the real hope for peace and for a bright future. I was horrified. What next? Would they start burning Israeli books? I promptly made the work “Save the Date” where I dressed up as a giant boycotted Israeli date and pleaded with my fellow artists to eat me. I performed it twice at Goldsmiths but the second performance was boycotted by the students. What utter absurdity, I thought: to boycott a performance about boycotting!

Documentation of the performance “Save the Date” will be screened at my upcoming show opening this Thursday. Also on show will be “Coffee Stand”, a work that challenges the demonising of Israel on UK campuses. The stand will be situated at the entrance to my show and manned by Israeli and Jewish volunteers, who will serve Arabic-Israeli coffee to members of the public. They will wear T-shirts designed and hand-printed by me with the text: “I come from the most hated place on earth” and on the back: “(second to Iran)”. Those who wish to take part by wearing a t-shirt at the show will be given one for keeps. You are all welcome to come and see it. There will also be a holistic therapist ready to rehabilitate your left side. Those who have tried it have felt the change.

I hope to generate real dialogue here, a conversation over a friendly cup of coffee, to show the faces of those directly affected by the hate-campaign, the demonization and the de-humanisation. Because, after all, what does it mean to hate a country? What is a country if not its people? What does it mean to hate a person simply because of the place where he/she was born? What good does it do?

I believe in human beings. I believe that each and every one of us seeks happiness.  If people want to be passionate about a cause they should know what it is they are rallying for. And make sure they are not trampling on someone else in the process. Passion is good when it is channelled in positive ways. When tolerance and well-being is the real goal and not the adrenaline rush of a good fight.

There is an Israeli voice in Goldsmiths. There is a Jewish voice in Goldsmiths. It is loud and it is here and it will not be silenced.

Noam Edry

 “Conversation Pieces: Scenes of Unfashionable Life” opens Thursday 14 July 6-9pm at the Goldsmiths MFA Degree Show

 Baths Building, Laurie Grove, New Cross, SE14 6NW

Opening times: Friday 15 – Monday 19 July 10am-7pm, Sunday 18 July 10 am – 4pm

 The Coffee Stand opens for the duration of the Private View, Thursday 14 July 6-9pm

And then every day Friday15-Monday 19 from 12noon – 3pm

 Hope to see you all there!

60 Responses to ““Goldsmiths Made Me a Fundamentalist” – Noam Edry”

  1. Bella Says:

    Wow! Kol HaKavod! I hope there is a strong turnout to support Noam. I’m very impressed by her courage in the face of such ugliness.

  2. Venus Says:

    Captivating article!!! A most enjoyable and interesting read.

  3. Frank Adam Says:

    In what way is a boycott a dialogue other than in the negative quadrant of any graph?

    Those wo tell others to return whence they came [and from there to a place of execution] should take out insurance in case they have to grab their passport and passbook and make a run for it as did the ethnic Germans beyond Yalta Germany in 1945.

  4. Bialik Says:

    I’m speechless. I also grew up in London and Israel and I am full of admiration that you won’t hide away, like you’re supposed to (what a ‘good Jew’ would do). I have decided that rather than be silenced I will choose my friends, my employers and my newspapers more carefully but I don’t see myself in a tee-shirt inviting people to ask me where I grew up.
    I think what you’re doing is incredible. Best of luck.

  5. Blacklisted Dictator Says:

    Noam Edry in the movie “Underdogs”

    http://www.underdogs.co.il/

  6. Richard Says:

    Well done, really pleased you are making a stand against intolerance on campus. Will blog this on Sunday.

  7. Hadassa Says:

    Er, what exactly do you mean by a “good Jew”? It has a very unpleasant “smell” to it. Please explain/expound.

  8. allan siegel Says:

    ““apartheid state”. It was the first time I had heard of it. Apartheid. How? In what way? I went to art school in Jerusalem with fellow Arab artists,” Noam Edry said this; someone is either very naive or ignorant and apolitical? This reads like a piece of PR: “I went to art school in Jerusalem with Arabs” (not Palestinians?) and was somehow untouched by political reality; this is a person living in a dreamworld and got her first wake-up call at Goldsmiths. Welcome to the real world Noam.

  9. Miya Says:

    Allan>>The important point is that it is only Israeli Jews who are attacked with these accusations on UK-campuses. Nobody would even dream of offending all Pakistani students because of Pakistan’s apartheid policies against religious minorities, just to take one example. Israel is certainly not a perfect state, but is it really the most hateful place on earth (sadly, I think Israel is even more hated than Iran)?

    Kol ha Kavod Noam! It is time for us non-anti-zionist Jews to fight back. I feel that the tide is turning!

  10. Argaman Says:

    Allan, you are the one living in the dreamworld, since you fail to recognize that in Israel Arabs and Jews do manage to go to school together, study at university together, work together, live next to each other, and even upon occasion serve in the Israeli army together (Israeli Druze men are drafted into the IDF; Bedouin men volunteer; and occasionally other Arab Israeli men volunteer for the army). With that social reality, it’s hard to stomach the description of Israel as an apartheid state.

  11. modernityblog Says:

    allan siegel,

    Can you do anything but sneer? Perhaps you should try to understand the climate of anti-Israeli sentiment which pervades parts of Britain?

    Please, make an effort.

  12. Absolute Observer Says:

    Or Allan, she knows that what people outside Israel label “apartheid” out of intellectual laziness or for political effect is not apartheid at all but is something else.
    Of course, once you place yourself into the straitjacket of inappropriate analogies and concepts, then as your comments show, one lacks the intellectual and political flexibility to fully understand and engage with anything (on this point you may want to read Ran Greentein’s essays – they have been posted by him several times on several threads).

    Thought is always the first casualty of cliche.

  13. Absolute Observer Says:

    Note how Siegel tries to change the subject from the atmosphere at UK campuses to Israel. Next he’ll regale us with the history of the Bund – again. http://engageonline.wordpress.com/2010/07/28/howard-jacobson-on-his-new-novel-the-finkler-question/

    To save us the bother we can have recourse to Allan’s view of the matter, that Noam “as a Jew” and “as an Israeli” is psychologically disturbed so that her work can be reduced to “simply a reflection of the ghettoized and colonized mentality of Jews who have seen themselves as perpetual victims until of course Israel came along to reverse the history of victimhood.” http://engageonline.wordpress.com/2010/07/28/howard-jacobson-on-his-new-novel-the-finkler-question/

    Funny how people like Allan Siegel confuse the nonsense that was once the province of “crackpots and charalatans” with serious comment.

  14. Bialik Says:

    A good Jew as in one approved of, takes the correct stand on the I/P conflict. Doesn’t feel uncomfortable in local labour party meetings. Why, what did you think I meant?

  15. allan siegel Says:

    Insofar as Israel has state control over the West Bank and Gaza it is an apartheid state; it acquired this label not by accident but because it’s policies ‘of control’ were similar to South Africa in the years before the end of apartheid. If it is something else besides that maybe ABSOLUTE OBSERVER would be kind enough to tell us what that is.

    Why should anyone be surprised at ant-Israeli sentiment on universities; these are places where political sentiments surface sometimes sooner than in other areas of civil society. During the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement in the U.S. a political polarisation also took place.

    What is shocking to me, and what prompted me to write something, was the fact that Noam’s political innocence: “on my first day at Goldsmiths I was confronted by propaganda posters on the student union walls calling my country an “apartheid state”. It was the first time I had heard of it.” Ahhh, hello! This to me seems quite remarkable.

    AND, I notice, also remarkably, how in all the responses here not once is Palestinian used in referring to people who live in Israel; yet, Druze and Bedouin are singled out. Odd when we consider that the context here is Israel-Palestine; but then maybe not surprising when we consider that some Israeli leaders believe there aren’t any Palestinians; the real de-legitimization campaign has been directed at Palestinians.

    • Paul M Says:

      You’re trying too hard, allan — I suppose because you have no other option. Do you stop people in conversation when they say “non-Jewish” and demand that they specify “Methodist” because that’s what happens to be on your mind at the moment?

      You are right about one thing: Israel indeed acquired the apartheid epithet not by accident. To tag Israel with it until it stuck was a deliberate strategy, selected by a bunch of unscrupulous partisans at an antisemitic hate-fest in 2001, in Durban (remember?) who were casting around for a slur that could be used to prod the right Pavlovian response out of ill-informed and illiberal western “liberals” hungry for a cause to make them feel good. Which makes you either an unscrupulous partisan or a feel-good “liberal”.

    • david Says:

      Thank you for adding that Allan. Many who oppose the concept of Israel as an apartheid state conveniently forget the occupied territories, citing only Israel in its pre-1967 borders, where the parallel with South Africa is weaker.
      Separation walls, settler only roads, Jewish-only areas, a heavily armed minority population supported by the military, the denial of voting rights are just some of the Apartheid-like abuses currently being perpetrated on the Palestinians by the Israeli government in the 44th. year of illegal occupation.

      • Paul M Says:

        Many who oppose the concept of Israel in any form conveniently seek to blur the distinction between Palestinian status in Israel and in the territories. You at least give grudging acknowledgment, “Israel … where the parallel with South Africa is weaker”. Within Israel the parallel is in fact non-existent; in the territories it is a figment of spin and selective half-truth.

        For example: The separation wall is a fence, whose creation was a last-ditch response to terrorism, unpopular with Israelis but acknowledged even by Palestinians as effective. Settler-only roads are in fact Israeli-only roads, used by Jewish and Arab Israelis alike. Their creation, as you surely can’t have forgotten, was a response to a Palestinian tactic of attacking at random Israeli vehicles in the West Bank. Jewish-only areas would actually be Israeli-only, and a heavily armed minority … supported by the military would only be a problem if you prefer your Jews to be fish in a barrel. Voting rights the world over are of course the prerogative of citizens: Israeli Arabs have them, Palestinians under occupation don’t — so here, the distinction you pretended to make in your second sentence is erased again in the final one. Plus ça change.

        And, speaking of spin and half-truth: A thing does not become “illegal” just because you and countless others keep saying it is, though like allan, you too perhaps understand the utility of a much-repeated lie. The occupation is fully legal, resulting from a defensive war and persisting as a result of the failure to achieve peace.

    • modernityblog Says:

      allan siegel,

      Apart from continually sneering your comments suggest that you welcome anti-Israeli sentiment in Britain?

      It is a pity that you lack the intellectual apparatus to see where it ends. In the continuation of racism towards Jews. No doubt you will sneer at that too?

  16. Naor Elimelech Says:

    I also went to Goldsmiths.

    I also felt the exact thing Noam has described and am still finding it difficult to express through my work and life.
    I am very proud of Noam for having managed to, knowing that an Israeli voice in Goldsmiths is urgently needed.

    I did both my BA and MA at Goldsmiths College and like other Israeli-Jews who I have met on campus, chose to simply ignore the ever-exiting need to feel apologetic for being an israeli in any conversation that may have risen about Israel and its current policies regarding the Palestinian Authority.

    And then Engage was born. I knew David Hirsh – he was my professor.
    He tutored my dissertation, which explored the reality of being a Palestinian-Israeli; the stratification of identities that pan out of being one; and the corresponding identity structure of the Israeli society, layered from the “mostest” jewishness to Jewish migrants and eventually Arabs.

    Arab and Jewish co-existence in Israel is a reality which no one can deny. It’s there.
    A reality which I have personally grew up experiencing , and still am, till this very day whenever I visit my hometown.

    Though it’s a reality with many faces.
    It’s not a rosy reality and definitely not one that I would choose in order to sustain my argument against the constant undermining of the legitimacy of the state of Israel in the guise of opposing Israeli internal and external policies, vibrantly flourishing on UK campuses.

    I do not need to discuss my young country’s difficulties with ethnic minorities rights, identity politics, cultural representation or any other such facets which EVERY democratic state faces, in order to justify its legitimacy or ability to co-exist with the Arabs.

    In my four years of experience of being a student in the UK, I have seen how hatred to Israel and subsequently to the “Jewish endeavour” in the middle-east has bled through almost every crack of different opposition groups and manifestations against Israel’s political agenda.

    What I do need therefore, is to battle the terrible misinformation regarding Israel’s history of coming into being which feeds into those different pseudo-political agendas existent on UK campuses; the silent institutional concordance that allows racist propaganda to exist under the banner of political opposition; and the overarching cultural naturalisation that renders doubting the legitimacy of the state of Israel normal or purely political.

    Israel is a legitimate country by all means.
    Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian Territories is illegitimate.

    It’s the overt obsession with the Jewish state which allows the discursive and practical involvement of different groups to tread into this greyness – onto this ambivalent terrain – upon which suggesting that Israel is illegitimate because it sustains an illegitimate occupation of territories becomes natural or unquestionable.

    This is what I would like to battle. This is what Noam battles through her work. And this is what other Israelis should be encouraged to battle on UK campuses.

    There is an Israeli voice on UK campuses and it is not ashamed or afraid of being an Israeli.

  17. baab Says:

    ‘Insofar as Israel has state control over the West Bank and Gaza it is an apartheid state;’

    Either you don’t know what ‘apartheid’ means, or you’re totally ignorant about Israel. Or both.

    Israel has no control over Gaza.

    Its current government and most of its public support a two state solution, How many people or organizations in the BDS movement are committed to a two state solution? Not one.

    And, in Israel, Jews and Arabs refer to each other and themselves as ‘Jews and Arabs’. ‘Palestinian’ is for tourists. But how would you know about it.

  18. allan siegel Says:

    Israel has no control over Gaza? baab? try living in the year 2011. Yes, and an ‘Arab’ is sitting in a British prison because he is not Palestinian? Get real and stop with the rubbish or PR from the Embassy. And, by the way, Israel is a Zionist endeavor… not Jewish.

    • Toby Esterhase Says:

      Isn’t Raed Salah in a British prison because he’s an antisemite?

      http://hurryupharry.org/2011/07/09/raed-salah-using-nazi-propaganda/

      Salah:

      “The unique mover wanted to carry out the bombings in Washington and New York in order to provide the Israeli establishment with a way out of its entanglements, and in order to divert the attention of the media towards the American continent. This would allow the Israeli establishment to deal with our Palestinian people without [outside interference], and would give the Jewish extremists a rare opportunity to work towards destroying the Al-Aqsa mosque.”

      Salah:
      “The unique mover knows that American history is beset with endless mysteries: Who murdered John Kennedy, and why, considering that he was the first Catholic to become president of the U.S.? Who was behind the Monica [Lewinsky] scandal, and why, and who benefited from it?…

      Considering these endless mysteries, [we may conclude that] the unique mover had no problem adding yet another unprecedented mystery to American history, which is [has always been] riddled with ambiguities and with 1,001 questions, from the [Benjamin] Franklin document until today.”

      Are these not antisemitic sentiments? I think it is wrong to say he is in prison because he’s “Arab” or “Palestinian” – I think we should relate to what he does and says, rather than to what he “is”.

  19. david Says:

    AO: Here’s a contribution from the Israeli government to the meme of Jews as “perpetual victims.” THEY seem to think it might still work :

    http://maxblumenthal.com/2011/07/actor-in-israel-govs-new-anti-flotilla-vid-is-haaretz-employee/

    • Absolute Observer Says:

      If I were Allan, I would be very, very angry to be told that his views are no different from the antics of a nasty right-wing government (although, in this instance, david, I cannot disagree with your judgement).

  20. Eleanor S Says:

    I am so proud of Noam for doing this. I ran Jewish society at Goldsmiths from 2008-10 and we tried to make real change regarding the Israel- Palestine dialogue on campus. We had our voices heard (just about) but were beaten down in a student assembly, and the union was twinned with a Palestinian University (without any Israeli element). It can be a very intimidating atmosphere to go into as a Jew and as an Israeli, even more so. Noam, you are amazing and good luck!

  21. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Allan Siegel is so proud of himself, so let’s try this for a change: “Insofar as China has state control over Tibet it is an apartheid state; it acquired this label not by accident but because it’s policies ‘of control’ were similar to South Africa in the years before the end of apartheid. If it is something else besides that maybe ABSOLUTE OBSERVER would be kind enough to tell us what that is.

    Why should anyone be surprised at ant-Chinese sentiment on universities; these are places where political sentiments surface sometimes sooner than in other areas of civil society. During the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement in the U.S. a political polarisation also took place.”

    No, doesn’t work, does it? It only works with Israel. Wonder why? Got it! It’s because Israel is the Jewish state, and the left (assuming Siegel is from the left, and anyway, the right doesn’t have the sophistication) can’t see the antisemitic tropes at work.

    Talk about mote-beam!

    Then david (welcome back, david, we’ve missed you) adds this: “Thank you for adding that Allan. Many who oppose the concept of Israel as an apartheid state conveniently forget the occupied territories, citing only Israel in its pre-1967 borders, where the parallel with South Africa is weaker.” They forget that the West Bank, where many here agree Israel shouldn’t be, because it’s occupied territory, and is not part of Israel, and, as such, the analogy doesn’t work. He, no more than allan siegel, would apply it to China and Tibet (or to the Uigar region) because no-one dares seriously suggest a boycott of Chinese universities or goods. Only Israel.

    And as Mod. Blog and others note, (and david himself even admits it’s “weaker” here) the apartheid analogy doesn’t work within Israel. david makes no more sense now than he did the earlier times he commented here.

    It is also fascinating that no-one has ever produced a proper argument to claim that Israel is an apartheid state, merely asserted it, or if they have, it’s hidden away somewhere. It is never exposed to the cold light of rational debate, because it would be exposed as the house of cards it really is. If david or allan siegel (or anyone else, for that matter) really believe that they can make the case, they should submit an article here: do it nicely and I’m sure the editors would publish.

  22. Avi in Jerusalem Says:

    Naom, kol hakavod. Things have changed since my day in university at Manchester in the mid 1970s. Israeli students were nowhere in evidence then. Keep it up. BTW, I chickened out of producing and wearing a tee shirt with “I’m from Israel. Want to make something of it?” on it on family visits to London. Perhaps I’ll reconsider.

    As to the accusations of apartheid leveled by a number of the blind ideologue trolls, I would suggest that any of the accusers accompany me on a visit to one of the Hadassah hospitals or Shaare Zedek in Jerusalem. They will see Jewish/Muslim/Christian/Arab/whatever (AKA human beings) staff and patients all working together and receiving the same treatment. If this is apartheid then anything is apartheid. But then, apartheid is now applied to anything that Israel and only Israel, does or does not do.

  23. Micha Sass Says:

    I am in support of any attempts to balance an unbalanced situation. However this tee-shirt campaign has gone right over my head..Is Israel the most hated country in the world? Is the slogan based on some sort of wide reaching survey? What is the meaning of the back slogan ‘(second to Iran)’ , why is it on the back? Why even mention Iran in this campaign? Is Iran more hated? Does the wearer of the T-Shirt hate Iran?

    I would have thought ‘I come from Israel, and am proud of it!’ and a list of some positive facts (e.g. Israel offers equal rights to Arabs, Gays and Women..Israel contributes greatly to science and technology..Israel is a democracy).

    This T-Shirt is asserting something which is not positive. It is relying on any reader of the slogan to understand why you are proudly wearing a t-shirt with such a slogan. Many people will not understand this and make the wrong connections. Maybe it will make people ask questions (a good thing) or maybe it will make people avoid the wearer.

    The EDL could start a T-shirt campaign with ‘I am from the most hated pressure group in th UK!’, and on the back ‘(Second to the UAF)’ or some such..

    I admire anyone who attempts to raise the public awareness of the issue of antisemitism and increase support for the Jewish state. I hope this campaign achieves what the organisers wish.

    • Toby Esterhase Says:

      Yuh Micha, I guess that’s why she’s doing an MA in Fine Art and you’re doing… whatever it is you do.

      • Micha Sass Says:

        Ah, I see..It could be that I am not qualified or well educated enough to understand the reasoning behind tee-shirt slogan. Fair enough.

        For the more lowbrow readers of this blog, could you (Toby) answer the questions I raised in the first paragraph of my comment?

    • Bill Says:

      The only thing I’ll dock her on is bad marketing for the back of the T-Shirt. It should say “Second to America.” But of course the BDS understands the ramifications of boycotting the Great Satan. Otherwise 10/10 for moxie.

  24. david Says:

    My previous response to Paul M was moderated off, but I think it only fair that I should be allowed to point out to him that the occupation is illegal because the International Court of Justice ruled that it was in 2004. This is not spin.

    • Brian Goldfarb Says:

      So what does this do for the war crimes committed by Hamas, as well as their breaches of human rights?

      Or is it only alleged Israeli ones that count? And how about some real evidence for allegations of Israel being an apartheid state, instead of just endless assertions to that end.

      Or don’t such accusations need any evidence when they’re aimed at Israel?

      And what is your reaction to Nick Cohen’s article on syria as an apartheid state? Plenty of evidence here: shows how it should (and presumably could re Israel) be done:

      http://nickcohen.net/2011/06/19/face-the-facts-–-syria-is-an-apartheid-state/

      • Bill (possessed by Larry Lowell yet again) Says:

        “You’re changing the subject. We’re not talking about Syria, minority rule, freedom of movement or even capital- or lowercase-A apartheid. We’re talking about Jews.”

    • Paul M Says:

      I only know one ruling by the ICJ in 2004 that concerned Israel. Ignoring for now the purely advisory nature of that ruling; ignoring the dubious moral authority of any ruling made for masters who haven’t bothered themselves with the illegality in the onslaught against Israel. Setting all that aside and considering just that 2004 ICJ’s finding, there’s nothing in it that ruled the occupation illegal.

      Perhaps you could point us to the ICJ ruling you’re thinking of, and the relevant part in it?

  25. david Says:

    Shame on you David Hersh. You are operating your own boycott bill:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/11/israel-law-banning-citizens-boycotts?intcmp=239

    • David Hirsh Says:

      Yes that’s right David. I have a personal majority in the Israeli parliament.

      • Brian Goldfarb Says:

        No he doesn’t, david, it’s the Lobby whot done it.

        Irony meter on, I trust. DH, like me, would never call for a boycott of boycotters (I apologise for taking your name in vain, DH, but I’m merely extending “About us”, with which I strongly associate myself). Personally, I might or might not decide to no longer buy goods and services from a given country (as I did re South Africa from the time of the Sharpeville massacre until Mandela’s release from prison and that was for over 30 years). I would never demand (let alone organise a whole campaign demanding) that others do the same: that’s for them to decide for or against.

        And if one is going to make the demand that others boycott, then the same rules have to apply to _all_ offenders, not just one’s pet hate. So that needs to include _all_ the alleged breachers of human rights in the world, not just Israel.

        Or do you have some special reasons and evidence that tells you (and you should tell us, if you’re going to comment here) that _only_ Israel in the whole wide world deserves to be targeted in this way?

        And have you decided to ignore my comments directed at you, david? If so, I take it that I’ve hit the bulls eye on the dart board.

        • david Says:

          Brian….I have replied to both you and to Paul but David Hirsh has deleted a number of my responses for reasons that you will have to ask him about. Consequently my comment re the Israeli Boycott bill appears out of context. Again, I refer you to David Hirsh.

        • Thomas Venner Says:

          It would be hilarious, though, to watch the BDS movement condemn Israel for trying to boycott people who call for a boycott of Israel, while still calling for a boycott of Israel themselves, then scrabbling around desperately trying to explain how this doesn’t make them hypocrites.

        • Brian Goldfarb Says:

          david, perhaps you should be asking DH what it was that you said that he (or whoever the moderator is) felt failed to advance the discussion or overstepped the boundaries. And, as I’ve said before, you are far from the only one to fail to get their comments through. It’s happened to me on numerous occasions, and the moderators and I are on the “same side” (whatever that means).

          But it’s nice to know you’re still talking to me!

        • Brian Goldfarb Says:

          “Again, I refer you to David Hirsh.”

          In what way is this still relevant, given my reply above?

  26. Nicolina Says:

    Well done Noam, your work is very important. I hope you will find a lot of support and people to help you so that you can go national.

    An old friend of mine has just left the UK. He is a Holocaust survivor and he said that the atmosphere and anti semitism towards Jews and Israel here in the UK is the same as it was in the 30’s in Germany, just before Hitler came to power. He has emigrated to Israel, the only country in the world where the Jewish people can live freely.

    Kol Hakavod and keep up the good work.

  27. Absolute Observer Says:

    “He has emigrated to Israel, the only country in the world where the Jewish people can live freely.”

    Oh for goodness sake, get real would you!

  28. Patricia Leventon Says:

    The British are zenophobic. We do not get accurate reporting on any conflict from Ireland to Libya and in between. British Jews are lying too low at present and should protest at the anti-israel propoganda that pervades news bulletins. Of course Israel isn’t perfect but maybe compared to Britain and the US and their current oil machinations it deserves respect.
    Good luck to Noam and her stand at Goldsmiths.

  29. sanelynch Says:

    I attended your exhibition last night and I thought it was pretty good. However, was there any need for the security on the door? Were you playing up to anti-Israel assumptions or were the security there to prevent people vandalising your work?

  30. Bella Fielding Says:

    Anybody who comes from South Africa knows that the only apartheid in Israel is that we are not allowed to go into any Arab villages, or Arab stores, or Arab hospitals, whereas Arabs come into our cities, shop in our malls, swim on our beaches, are treated in our hospitals, by Arab and Israeli doctors and nurses.
    In South Africa the Blacks were not allowed to board our buses, sit in our parks, eat in our restaurants, or be treated in our hospitals.

    • Naor Elimelech Says:

      Hi Bella, I completely disagree with you. I have never had problems entering any Arab villages… I also never heard of “Arab Hospitals” unless you mean Israeli hospitals in Arab villages, since both Jews and Arabs in Israel share the same citizenship and rights (presumably). The only inability of people to enter Arab villages, in my experience, is because they are too afraid, sometimes overfed by stereotypes and fear of the other.

      Israel does exercise, in several instances, restrictions on movement and access of Palestinian populations which, as singular policies, are comparable to restrictions the Apartheid’s regime exercised in its time.

      Israel occupies territories illegally – that’s a fact.

      Nonetheless, this does not make Israel and Apartheid State. There are a myriad of structural and political facets in the Israeli reality that put it light-years away from being an Apartheid state. Like having a democratic Higher-Court which has rulled more than once in favour of Palestinians albeit the lobbying power that Israeli far-right political parties may possess.

      This is also a fact.

      The real issue here is how different so called arguments are naturalised into discourses and considered legitimate, but are effectively anti-semite; how people opposing Israel’s policies make no distinction between Israel and Apartheid South Africa, because they are ignorant or merely have an issue with the existence of the Jewish State.

      That’s what Noam confronts. This “trendiness” on UK campuses which has been rendering hating Israel and questioning its existence legitimate; which has effectively made Israelis like Noam (and myself) go silent whenever the discussion is about Israel, struck with the amount of misinformation and hatred.

  31. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    “Israel occupies territories illegally – that’s a fact.” Actually, no it’s not a fact. It’s frequently alleged to be a fact. We are still waiting here for evidence that any _appropriate_ body has declared the occupation illegal. Even Resolution 242 of the UN Security Council, November 1967, doesn’t say that. It needs to be reread by all concerned in taking up positions on this issue. Try this: http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/RESOLUTION/GEN/NR0/240/94/IMG/NR024094.pdf?OpenElement.

  32. The Closing of the English Mind « Max Dunbar Says:

    [...] Last year Goldsmiths fine art student Noam Edry made ‘Conversation Pieces: Scenes of Unfashionable Life’; a conceptual show based on his experiences at the university. Here he describes a general atmosphere of conformity, intimidation and groupthink. [...]

  33. R S Davies Says:

    A thought from the road that stretches from Carmel to Golan A487
    First they came as farmers and they lived among us and beside us.
    Then they came with their weapons and their armour, and they took our best land and drove us out to the harsh mountains.
    Then they declared war again and occupied the mountains, and they told us that we no longer owned the land.
    They settled their own people, who spoke their strange incomprehensible language, on the strategically important land controlling us and our trade with the outside.
    We were not permitted to live within the walls of their settlements. They placed curfews upon us in their settlements, and gave themselves permission to kill us if found during the hours of darkness. They compelled us to use their language and adopt their ways. They denied us our right to identity demanding that we conform to their identities.
    Our leaders became corrupted by them and their wealth and sold us out to the oppressor occupiers. Having nothing ourselves, we had to migrate and beg for work from them on the lands that were once ours.
    They punished us in schools in our own land for being ourselves, when in a moment of forgetfulness we might utter one word of our own language.
    Even after so much time had passed, they are suspicious of us and demand that in their presence we speak their language. As they believe that if we speak our mother tongue in their presence we must be plotting to cheat them or worse.
    Even after so much time if we settled on their side of the border, in the lands they had driven us from, they marked us as outsiders in school and subjected us to minor daily humiliations. And only eventually and begrudgingly did they allow us to use our language in the courts and on the street signs in our land.
    And still after so much time and so many of them settling our lands to live alongside us, few can speak more than a few words of our language, the language of this land and the expression of our culture. And so our world, our culture, our history remains a mystery to them as they wilfully reject us.
    Only now after so much time, have the English occupiers willing to let us Welsh have the merest modicum of self-government, and they still arrogate themselves the right to plunder our lands for their benefit.

    It seems to me that the Jews were despised for being different, and now they are despised for being the same. What a curious world we live in…..


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