While Banksy’s brand spanking new Walled Off Hotel (sounds like Walldorf, get it?!) has made the news, for some reason his main attraction at the opening did not: none other than Elton John.
Sure, it was a
virtuoso virtual performance – but still.
While Elton is clearly showing support for palestinians, he performed in Israel as recently as last year..and had some nice things to say about us. So I think this is just Elton trying to be even-handed (which, incidentally, would likely not be the case if he went to Gaza – he’d likely end up with only one hand – and that’s the best case scenario).
As for the hotel itself, it certainly looks and sounds highly critical of Israel – to the point of regretting our existence:
“It’s exactly one hundred years since Britain took control of Palestine and started re-arranging the furniture – with chaotic results,” Banksy said. “I don’t know why but it felt like a good time to reflect on what happens when the United Kingdom makes a huge political decision without fully comprehending the consequences.”
But there are those who see the glass as being half full.
A new hotel in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem designed and owned by famed graffiti artist Banksy is one of the “most complex and nuanced” projects the mysterious Brit has ever undertaken, the head of a US-based pro-Israel artists group told The Algemeiner on Sunday.
“He is finally asking critical questions of both sides, far from his previous heavy-handed and one-sided works [in favor of the Palestinians],” Craig Dershowitz — the executive director of Artists 4 Israel — said. “And we support any fair and open discussion and are proud to [have played] at least a small part in moving him to a place of dialogue.”
According to Banksy’s website, the hotel — which features dozens of the artist’s works — is “not aligned to any political movement or pressure group. The aim is to tell the story of the wall from every side and give visitors the opportunity to discover it for themselves. We offer an especially warm welcome to young Israelis. Absolutely no fanaticism is permitted on the premises.”
According to Dershowitz, the global graffiti artist community is “overwhelmingly in support of peaceful coexistence and examining the conflict with new eyes. Rather than the black-and-white, zero-sum game that so many activists see on both sides, artists see the many colors.”