>The Virgin Mary and Terrorism

Photo: The Virgin Mary and Terrorism

A group of Israeli journalists removed a picture from an exhibit because the picture superimposed the face of a female Palestinian suicide bomber on a painting of the Virgin Mary.

According to a news report published in Haaretz,

Yossi Bar-Mocha, the head of the National Federation of Israeli Journalists, said his organization removed the pictures from its Tel Aviv headquarters for fear they would offend people who lost relatives in militant attacks.

“There is a majority in favor of removing the pictures . . . The main problem is that the artists didn’t tell us what the exhibition was about beforehand and simply presented it as ‘an exhibition of pictures,’” said Bar-Mocha.

However, one of the artists, Galina Bleikh, whose paintings were being exhibited, said the intention of the picture was not to glorify or justify terrorism. She said:

“The message is that the baby in the arms of a woman is in danger. The contrast of the symbol of love, the Madonna, with the face of a killer – it works. It hurts the souls of women who look at it.”

One painting, two different interpretations. I guess the meaning is on the eyes of the beholder.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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