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Artists install Israel-less maps in Berlin

BERLIN (JTA) — A German-Danish artistic duo has caused a stir in Berlin by installing posters of the map of the Middle East without Israel.

Where Israel should be, the name "Ramallah" appears. Above the map is the title "Final Solution" in German.

Jan Egesborg and Pia Bertelsen, a duo that uses the name Surrend, are known for provocative projects and reportedly have been sued numerous times.

The artists reportedly said they will be plastering the maps in several Berlin neighborhoods, including one with a large German-Turkish population.

According to the Copenhagen Post online, Egesborg said their intention was "not to provoke or criticize Jews but to remove taboos surrounding discussions on the establishment of the state of Israel, which he called ‘a historical mistake.’ "

Egesborg, who identified himself as Jewish, said the artists hoped the posters would spark "debate about peace in the Mideast." He told Vienna Online magazine that "as a Jew, I always found it problematic that Israel was built on stolen land." He added that "there is no other answer than that the Jews from Israel find a new homeland, perhaps in the USA, Germany or Denmark."

In an interview with the Jerusalem Post, Shimon Samuels, head of the international department of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Paris, suggested that the artists be sued for "genocidal incitement" and using "Nazi terminology."

Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit, of the Social Democratic Party, told The Jerusalem Post that “There cannot be any doubt regarding Israel’s right to exist. This form of satire is not what I like.”

 

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