In a new book, an Israeli artist has described his struggle with racism and oppression over the years as he struggled to create a piece of art.
In The Art of Disgusting, published by New York City’s The Public Library of America, author David Eitan is a survivor of a history of racism that began in the 1960s and was rooted in Israeli military occupation of Palestine, which left his family and community under siege.
“I came to the conclusion that the racism I saw was not only present but that I had to face it,” Eitan said in an interview with The Jerusalem News.
“It was not until I was in the United States, working on a project in the U.S. and in Israel, that I began to see it as something that I have to live with, and that the only way I could be successful was to become aware of it.”
In the book, Eitan details his experience of racism, oppression, and discrimination in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including in the cities of Ramallah and Hebron, which he calls “dirty” and “disgorous” to the point of “beyond belief.”
His work was featured at a major international gallery in New York last month, and has since been auctioned off at Christie’s New York and Christie’s London.
Eitan was born in Jerusalem in 1961.
He graduated from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1977 and worked as an art curator in the Israel Art Museum in 1981-1983, and as a member of the Israel Cultural Heritage Department in the Israeli Ministry of Culture and the Israeli Foreign Ministry from 1984 to 1988.
He was a member, among others, of the Jerusalem Arts Committee, which oversaw a wide range of works by Palestinian artists.
In 1982, the Israeli Civil Administration closed the museum, which was home to many Palestinian artworks and works of Palestinian culture, and ordered the closure of the Palestinian Cultural Institute in Jerusalem, as well as the Israel Museum of Art, which housed Palestinian art, including murals by Palestinian artist Muhammad Ibrahim.
In 1984, Egan began organizing and participating in Palestinian protests in Jerusalem against the closure.
In 1987, Eben was arrested and charged with participating in an anti-Israeli protest in the Old City, where a Palestinian youth was beaten to death by Israeli police, and was later convicted on a manslaughter charge and sentenced to seven years in prison.
He spent four years in Israeli prison before he was released in January 1992, and went on to become a prominent and respected Palestinian activist, artist, and writer.
Eben has been an outspoken advocate for Palestinian rights and human rights in Israel for more than a quarter century.
In 2010, Elishan was awarded the Jerusalem Prize, a prize given by the Israeli government to outstanding public figures in the arts.
“The Palestinian art community in the occupied territories is now very vibrant,” Elishon said.
“There are many artists who are now active, who are living in Israel.
In addition to the fact that we are not under occupation, the art community of the occupied areas is now vibrant.”
He continued: “I see the Palestinian artists, I see the Palestinians artists, in Israel who are not as marginalized as they are in the West Bank.
I see them, in my work, as a part of the community, a part to be proud of, not a threat to be ashamed of.
It is not that we don’t care about them.
It’s that we care about the people in the community.”
While in Israel in the early 1990s, Ebeid made contact with Palestinian artists and musicians, who invited him to their art shows and he became close with several artists, including Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish.
“As a result of my collaboration with Palestinian art and music, I realized that we could start to work together on art projects and the way in which the art world could be represented by Palestinian art,” Ebeillat said.
The two began collaborating on a mural titled “My Name Is” in 1988, which became a popular mural in Ramallah, the West Jerusalem neighborhood where the mural was installed in 1993.
Ebeids work was on display at the Museum of Palestinian Art, a Palestinian cultural center, for several years.
He also worked with the Jerusalem Art School in the 1980s on a painting entitled “Mona,” which was later removed from its permanent exhibition after an outcry over its offensive content.
In 1998, he began a project that would become known as the “Kafra Project,” which involved a series of large murals that were created and displayed in East Jerusalem.
These large murales depicted scenes from a Palestinian life story, which Ebeiddot said were meant to bring attention to the injustice of the Israeli occupation.
“What I was doing was to create this space that is an outlet for the voices of Palestinians, to make them feel empowered to talk about their lives, to see themselves