Michal Neeman | Israel

Remarks on Color, 1997

Oil and masking tape on canvas
Diptych 2 canvases,
100 / 130 cm, each

Courtesy of the artist and private collection, Tel Aviv

“…We knew there were poor Arabs in the villages (in Israel), but we could see on the big wall map in our classroom that there weren’t many Arabs, there may have been half a million altogether then, certainly less than one million, and there were total certainty that there would be enough room for another few million Jews, and that maybe the Arabs were just being stirred up to hate us, like the simple people in Poland, but surely we’d be able to explain to them and persuade them that our return to the land represented only a blessing for them, economically, medically, culturally, in every way.

We thought that soon, in a few years, the Jews would be the majority here and as soon as that happened we’d show the whole world how to treat a minority- our own minority, the Arabs.

We, who had always been an oppressed minority, would treat our Arab minority justly, fairly, generously, we would share our homeland with them, share everything with them, we would certainly never turn them into cats. It was a pretty dream.”

A tale of Love and Darkness, Amos Oz, 2002, Vintage publishing, translated to Hebrew by Nicholas de Lange.