Inside Israel

Anti-Israel Artist’s Table Football “Game” is Foul



Darren Cullen describes himself as

a satirical artist, illustrator and writer, born in Leeds to Irish immigrant parents and currently based in London. Cullen initially thought he wanted to go into advertising as a career, studying it at Leeds College of Art where he learned the language and techniques of the medium but became steadily horrified at the ethical implications involved. Claiming that “manipulating the desires and aspirations of the public, and especially children, using an arsenal of sophisticated and emotionally damaging psychological techniques is an appalling way to make a living and an even worse way to sustain an economy.” 

If you can decipher that jibberish, good luck. But what I think he is saying is he wants to be woke and broke.

Oh, and he’s against “manipulating the desires and aspirations of the public, and especially children, using an arsenal of sophisticated and emotionally damaging psychological techniques..to make a living and an even worse way to sustain an economy.”

But apparently using those same techniques to bash Israel is ok (hat tip: Michal).

Football is incredibly popular in Palestine but the occupation makes it difficult to flourish. The Palestine national team faces restrictions on travel and dozens of its most promising players have been frequently imprisoned, injured, permanently disabled, and killed after attacks and raids by Israeli forces. In 2014 two young national team players Jawhar Nasser and Adam Halabiya were shot repeatedly in the feet and legs near an Israeli checkpoint in occupied Palestine.

Palestinian football stadiums and fields have been bombed by Israeli forces and sections of the separation wall were built down the middle of the pitch at Abu Dis campus of Al-Quds University.

This project reimagines the struggle of Palestinian football through the table football game Subbuteo, with Palestinian players on crutches, wheelchairs and arrested in handcuffs attempting to play on against a rival team of IDF soldiers who oversee the enclosure and the building of Israeli settlements on the pitch.

The diorama will be on display in Berlin from this Friday at an exhibition I’m co-curating called Werbepause – The Art of Subvertising at Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien. After the show ends in August I intend to bring it back to display in the UK at the Museum of Neoliberalism.

This is nothing short of dishonest propaganda.

What this (f)artist does not mention is that those two palestinian Arab players who were “shot repeatedly in the feet and legs near an Israeli checkpoint” were allegedly attempting to throw explosive devices at police officers. The fact they were shot in the legs supports the idea they were shot only to “neutralise the threat.” Yet to Cullen, the IDF are just sadists who love to ruin the careers of palestinian Arab soccer players, for shits’n’giggles.

Israel is not out to destroy palestinian Arab soccer players. In fact, one now plays in the Israeli league – the former captain of their national side no less – and his brother is in the Israeli national team!

Cullen’s depiction of palestinian Arab football stadiums and fields bombed by Israeli forces is another example of his dishonesty. What he does not mention is how those bombed were used by Hamas terrorists to fire rockets at population centers in Israel.

The contention that “sections of the separation wall were built down the middle of the pitch at Abu Dis campus of Al-Quds University” is also a lie.

Also clearly not of interest to Cullen: some palestinian Arab soccer players moonlight as terrorists.

Not that he seems to recognize any form of terrorism. Note the graffiti in the final photo above – “Make Hummus, not wall”, as if the palestinian Arabs just want to be able to live peacefully, ignoring the fact they are heavily engaged in terrorism, which is the reason for the security fence to begin with. Contrary to the other graffiti appearing on that wall – “to exist is to resist” – their “resistance” is all about murdering and maiming Israelis.


Tags: Darren Cullen football Palestinian Soccer

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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