Nicky Larkin, an Irish artist, posted an article in The Independent on Sunday. Nicky is a young man in his late twenties who believed the politically-correct line he was fed about the Israel-Palestine conflict. He applied for funding from the Irish Arts Council to make a film in Israel and Palestine, and headed off to show the world how badly behaved Israel was.
Well, it didn’t turn out quite that way. He made the film ‘Forty Shades of Grey’ after spending seven weeks dividing my time evenly between Israel and the West Bank.
He reports on the outcome of his efforts:
The problem began when I resolved to come back with a film that showed both sides of the coin. Actually there are many more than two. Which is why my film is called Forty Shades of Grey. But only one side was wanted back in Dublin. My peers expected me to come back with an attack on Israel. No grey areas were acceptable.
An Irish artist is supposed to sign boycotts, wear a PLO scarf, and remonstrate loudly about The Occupation. But it’s not just artists who are supposed to hate Israel. Being anti-Israel is supposed to be part of our Irish identity, the same way we are supposed to resent the English.
But hating Israel is not part of my personal national identity. Neither is hating the English. I hold an Irish passport, but nowhere upon this document does it say I am a republican, or a Palestinian.
Every now and then you have to sit down and compare what you have been told with what you see before your eyes. I can relate–I used to be a liberal Democrat–I voted for George McGovern! Kudos to this young man for being willing to investigate and draw his own conclusions.
Nicky Larkin’s ‘Forty Shades of Grey’ will premiere in Dublin in May;