Friday, 9 September 2011

Brussels: exhibition of Israeli designers disrupted by protestors

Brussels, the proud capital of Europe...

BRUSSELS (EJP)---An exhibition displaying the works of 40 Israeli designers in Brussels was disrupted on Thursday by pro-Palestinian demonstrators.

Some 20 demonstrators gathered outside the Pierre Bergé & Associés gallery on the Grand Sablon Square in the heart of the Belgian capital where the official opening of the exhibition PromiseDesign 2011 was taking place.  Policemen had taken positions at the entrance of the gallery to ensure security for visitors.

Bearing Palestinian flags, the protesters chanted "Israel fascist" and "Zionist terrorists." Many of them wore green t-shirts calling for a boycott of Israel.  Some protesters apparently managed to enter the hall of the Israeli exhibition where they started to shout anti-Israeli slogans. They were quickly removed by police.

On the gallery façade a large banner had been displayed by the organizers reading "Yes to the culture. Yes to dialogue".

Asked about the presence of the demonstrators, Israel’s ambassador in Belgium, Tamar Samash, said: "I don’t understand that art and politics are mixed. This has nothing to do. What matters is that this exhibition be successful. "

The exhibition, part of Design September 2011, is organized by the Cultural Department of the Israeli embassy in Belgium. It runs until Sept. 23

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