Saturday, April 18, 2009

Thieves of a feather flock together

For the first time (?), the Palestinians are complaining about an exhibition of Dead Sea scrolls stolen by Israel. This time it is a show at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. Of course, the point of these shows is to establish that the Israelis have a legitimate claim to the stolen loot.

This one's a no-brainer. Assuming they are lucky enough to avoid a JIZ judge, the Palestinians should have no problem obtaining an injunction from the Canadian courts to prevent the display of property illegally obtained. It is undeniable that the scrolls were illegally stolen under the provisions of international law binding in both Israel - to the extent that any international law is binding in Israel due to the 'Holocaust Exemption' which means that international law isn't binding on Jews! - and Canada.

The sheer embarrassment of becoming an international art theft pariah should be enough to force the Royal Ontario Museum to back down, particularly as it is chock full of priceless cultural treasures stolen from the Chinese (not yet a big political issue, but the ROM really doesn't want to raise these issues now). It would be funny if a JIZ judge refused to stop the show but the ensuing outrage and disgust from the legion of decent and moral people forced the ROM to disgorge all its stolen Chinese art! I wonder what the Chinese Canadian donors who have funded the exhibition of such art over the years would think about the executives of the Royal Ontario Museum putting all its Chinese art treasures at such a huge risk of loss all for the sake of scoring a few political points for the JIZ. Canada is attempting to repair its relations with China - China has been all but abandoned by the Harper government until recently - and it would be a good time for the Chinese government to raise the issue, particularly if the ROM is dumb enough to try to force the Dead Sea scroll show through.
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