Baraghouti. (Photo: AP)
A Paris auction house recently removed a painting in which terrorist Marwan Barghouti was presented as a Palestinian version of Nelson Mandela after the Israeli embassy sent a letter protesting it. The painting was supposed to be auctioned ,with proceeds going to the Reporters Without Borders organization.
The artist who painted Barghouti wrote in the inscription that "Nelson Mandela was also called a terrorist in the 1950s." The Israeli embassy sent a letter to the auction house expressing disapproval of the comparison. The letter emphasized that Barghouti is a convicted murderer and a terrorist, while Mandela opposed violence.
Following the letter's reception, the auction house decided to remove the painting, saying that it did not intend to generate conflict. Barghouti was found guilty of several murderous terror acts by an Israeli court, and is serving five consecutive life sentences plus 40 years.
Israel and the French Jewish community have also contacted the Paris municipal authorities in order to prevent the reopening of an exhibit by Reporters Without Borders (RWB), which they believe unfairly incited people against the IDF. The exhibit shows life in Gaza after bombings by the Israeli military. Among other things, it displays photos of the Gaza Strip and information about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while ignoring Hamas' actions and its rocket fire at Israeli civilians.
The exhibit opened last month in a local culture center connected with the Paris municipality, and is expected to reopen from January 5-17. Israel's Ambassador to France Aliza Ben-Nun, said of this that "it is a shameful exhibit, whose whole goal is to promote an anti-Israeli agenda, and which gives aid to terrorism and empowers extremists inside France as well."
Ben-Nun further said that "the embassy has worked in conjunction with civil organizations and the Jewish community in order to express its severe protest of the initiative. It's very sad that an organization with a humanitarian reputation doesn't bother to mention the medical treatment given by the state of Israel to the residents of the Gaza Strip, among them the relatives of Ismail Haniyeh."