A Conversation Piece

I found this image floating around on MySpace yesterday and thought it was worth sharing. The text reads “We will win,” and that is, indeed, Sheikh Nasrallah’s severed head dripping blood in the palm of his hand. Notice that the artist, who goes by the online persona Jewcifer, signs his name with a circled five-pointed star (known as a pentagram, or, inverted in this case, a pentacle) often associated with witchcraft and Satanism. Now, of course, I’d never say that this guy is representative of all, most, or even more than a few Israelis. But what kind of culture is Israel producing that makes this sort of militancy and even “evil” itself attractive to its youth? Dare I say, this is the most non-Jewish piece of Jewish art I have ever seen.

17 thoughts on “A Conversation Piece

  1. One could give the artist the benefit of the doubt, and say he or she was being sarcastic. One could also repeat the truth that Israelis are not Jews, and Israeli culture is nothing but Jewish (except when schnorring).

  2. To say Israelis are not jews is a stupid thing to say. This piece of art may be tasteless, sarcastic, misplaced, embittered – whatever. But they are just as Jewish as Moshe or king David. Let’s see how you would feel if every moment of your life your next-door neighbor wants you dead and tries to kill you openly. Then we’ll see what YOU do with a paintbrush.

  3. The bottom line is that this will be seen by anti-semites, whoops, I mean anti-zionists, as definitive of the Israeli mindset.

  4. Um.
    I think that this type of militancy is a good thing, but not in such a way. Jews are enjoined to “hate evil” (Psalms), and we have a mitzva of getting rid of the evil that is within us, and to emulate Hashem.
    I’m sure that no one is advocating milquetoast Jews par excellence who will turn an infinite number of cheeks to a growing number of naysayers. This is not what the Torah wants. Granted, this particular artist has issues. But, these types of emotions should be channeled, not dismissed as being “not Jewish”.

  5. Would you prefer a painting of a drawn out UN court trial that results in Nasrallah receiving a verdict of community service? Would you think that is “more Jewish” than this art? I don’t mind that you don’t like it, I am tolerant of bad taste, but how can you be so arrogant to say that you are the decisor of what is and isn’t Jewish, when you are aware of legitimate halachic opinions that disagree with you?
    I don’t mind mistakes through misunderstanding, or ignorance, but blatent, knowing arrogance- just to push your point, is something that you cannot fall into. It is unfortunately something which is common in the world though, and I also get trapped by it sometimes. Please be more careful in the future, and say what you really think about it- that you don’t like it, not that it is the “most non-Jewish piece of Jewish art.”
    I am not the artist, but let’s understand what this art is- a political message. And all messages are meant to be communicated, so if we (the intended audience) don’t understand it, then the artist failed as a communicator (but not neccessarily as an artist).
    So I will say what I understand from it. Mainly, it is SYMBOLIC. The gas mask shows that we suffer losses, yet we don’t give up in our struggle. Nasrallah’s head, decapitated from the body, shows our victory. I’m not sure what the pentagram was meant to convey, but in the context of the rest of the piece, it is probably *not* paganism. Perhaps an anti-media/society, anarchistic feeling. The symbol itself does carry other meanings, some of which are in fact Jewish, but again- when an artist communicates he must speak the language of the audience (hence, the Torah talking in human terms). So I agree, the choice of a pentagram isn’t the clearest. On the whole though, I think it’s a pretty Jewish message- that we will endure bloodshed and struggle, yet ultimately, we will be victorious is establishing a presence for G-d in this world.

  6. Yoel,
    who cares? One of the reasons we lost the war is because the government forced the army to fight with our hands tied behind our back – because we were afraid what the goyim would say.
    Face it: we’re damned if we do, we’re damned if we don’t.

  7. I don’t know if I would call this Jewish art. Also, what made you connect this image to anything having to do with “the youth”? Also, it might make more sense to look at this as ‘art’ of war. The pentagram is probably as meaningul as all the pentagrams contributed to school desks and notebooks by ‘rebellious’ american teenagers. I mean dude its the internet. your question might be a good one but this image is pretty unremarkable and basically typical – they want the enemy dead – so maybe its a question better asked about a more significant source…

  8. It’s one thing (and entirely normal) to want Nasrallah dead. But, I don’t think it’s necessary to draw it.
    I have no problem with killing genuine bad-guys. But, we shouldn’t need to publicly dance on their graves (either before or after they’ve been filled).
    However, a private jig or two may be in order. That’s between you and God.

  9. This jewcifer is as representative of Israeli youth as say idiot the wise is representative of Israeli taggers. This is no cause to bemoan the degredation of Israeli cculture, sheesh.

  10. “Passifism no longer tradition”. That’s a quote from the song The ‘Brews by NOFX. But was passifism every really Jewish tradition?

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