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(Photo from Flash90)
(Photo from Flash90)

Erasing history and its symbols is a mistake
During the last 2000 years, Jews should be greatly offended by the art in many of the cultures we have been living in. With the depiction of the destruction of the Temple and plundering of Jerusalem, why does the Arch of Titus in Rome still stand? Should many medieval churches all over Europe be destroyed for their anti-Jewish art and architectural elements? The statue of Bogdan Khmelnitsky, the national hero of Ukraine and the leader of the destruction of Polish Jewry, still stands. Should they take it down because it is offensive to Jews? How about Auschwitz? Shall it be leveled? After all, it is the most vivid reminder of destruction of our people. Can we judge the past and its artistic representation with contemporary values? Instead of destroying them, we should use them as learning opportunities of the past. Removing the statue of Theodore Roosevelt by the leadership of the New York Museum of Natural History just because it MAY offend someone is on the same level as an uneducated mob taking down the statue of General Grant, who was instrumental in winning the Civil War and putting down the KKK. Allowing the history that came before you to be destroyed in favor of the sensibilities of today puts us on the same level as the Taliban destroying the stone-carved Buddhas and ISIS destroying artifacts of the pre-Islamic period. If we want the artistic representation of our own time to remain in history, we should leave the ones that came before us in place. After all, the art of today may be offensive to the future generations. Check Soviet history as an example. I stand with President Emmanuel Macron: statues should not be removed.

Rahel Kozlova
Squirrel Hill

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