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Hi Mini Me,

Great article!

I wonder if the pictures thamselves are are art. After all, what constitutes art? Is a front page newspaper photograph art? Most persons would say that it is not, as such a photograph is essentially an augmentation of a news story. The essential ingredient of "art" after all, is that art must, through visual or tactile sensation, produce a sensory experience on the part of the viewer. A newspaper photograph may produce an experience in the part of the viewer, but such experience is predominantly a psychological or emotional experience that relates to the newsworthy (hopefully) message or article (especially if it is political in nature) being transmitted.

It seems that the Brandeis photographs are more in the nature of a political poster than a work of art. Indeed, had the photographs been pasted, collage - like, onto a poster board, with red blood - like letters stating, "LIBERATE PALESTINE" smeared onto the collage, the message the photographs augment would crystallize. Simply because the message is implied and is not emperical in nature does not change the purpose of the photographs. The student in question should therefore not be permitted to hide behind the fact that the message is implied - his message was political - not artistic. Brandeis' administration, for that reason, had every right to request that the political nature of the presentation comply with school rules.

By the way...the fact that the pictures are being loaned to an MIT student supports the syllogism, above...as MIT is not known for its art...

Solid Surfer


Those are some very good points. Unfortunately not all is well at Brandeis, though, as Tony Kushner (an anti-Zionist and Steven Spielberg's screenwriting partner for the "Munich" movie) is set to be the graduation speaker this year: http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=22362

Maybe if enough people protest to the administration, though, something can be done.

Mini Me

I think Kushner is just getting an honorary degree...I believe Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan is the keynote speaker at commencement. However giving Kushner anything from Brandeis is insanely hypocritical. They must as well leave the artwork up in the library if they are gonna give this guy a degree. That link you gave says it all as it gives some of his quotes and stances.


Just as minor note, according to Brandeis' website, the commencment speaker is not Tony Kushner but rather Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan. The truth is, I don't know Talal's politics so I can't say its any better than Kushner. Never the less, it should be an interesting speech. Brandeis is trying to be at the forefront of Middle East Studies (see the creation of the Crown Center)but is struggling to find an identity. It is interesting that the Center's mission statement states that, "The center will seek to produce a discourse on the Middle East as dispassionate, objective and centrist as possible." Is showing children's paintings without any context or history reflective of this mission? I certainly don't think so...

I was just forwarded the following e-mail. It is a letter from a Brandeis Proffesor (i'm going to leave out his name) to Brandeis University President Jehuda Reinhartz. Perhaps it can stir some more debate:

> dear jehuda,
> this is a difficult letter for me to write, but i feel compelled to
> write it. although i did not see the exhibit, and did not have any
> students complain directly to me about their presence, based on what i
> do know, i believe that it was wrong to take down the exhibit. along
> with most of the faculty members at the chairs' meeting on thursday, i
> found it ironic that the pictures were removed as the administration
> shared with us a new diversity statement, which includes statements
> about "engag[ing] members of our community as active citizens in a
> multicultural world," a document that claimed claims that the
> University "believes that diverse background and ideas are crucial to
> academic excellence" and "endeavors to foster a just and inclusive
> campus society that embraces the diversity of the larger society." I
> am certain that the exhibit would have been more suitable had a context
> been offered, but the absence of content was not, to my mind, a
> sufficient reason to remove it. i believe, in contrast to the
> statement provided through the office of communication, that removing
> the exhibit was censorship. We can (and should) debate if it was
> proper or improper censorship, but it is disingenuous to suggest that
> it was not censorship.
> i am deeply troubled that we will have to live with the ramifications
> of this decision for a long time. i hope that serious consideration
> will be given to proposals of how we might recover from this error, and
> thought will be given to constructive suggestions that were made at the
> chairs' meeting and elsewhere. These include the idea that we have
> serious discussions next year about the rights of community members to
> post on campus material that some find offensive, and that we have an
> art show showing various sides of the issue of how children understand
> the conflict. in any case, i hope that you realize the extent to which
> many faculty are very upset at the decision to remove the exhibit. i
> hope that the admistration, working with others, will find some way to
> turn this difficult situation into a constructive one.
> with best wishes--and of course i would welcome an opportunity to
> discuss this with you and others should you so wish.

Mad Zionist

My wife went to Brandeis and she's very disturbed by what has taken place there. The selling out of Zionist ideals to embrace leftwing pro-Palestinian dogma is deplorable.


I will post an interview tonight for you solid surfer. I apologize for the freudian slip with the silver surfer. However interviewing cartoon charachters could be a blast.

I was surprised at how many people have heard of the silver surfer.

Solid Surfer

Mini Me and Ian - thanks for correcting my mistake; glad to hear Kushner isn't the graduation speaker. Even so, though, I think it's outrageous that the university has chosen to honor him in any fashion.

Solid Surfer

Beak - no worries...I actually hadn't heard of the Silver Surfer myself, but will have to check it out!

Mini Me

I haven't really read any Silver Surfer comics as I am too young for them but I know my father was a big fan!

Neil Stirk

For those interested in viewing the Palestinian artwork:


Solid Surfer

That first piece shows exactly what the Palestinians are aiming for - the whole state of Israel. The leftists who refuse to believe this are totally deluded from reality.


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