A Navajo artist who claimed he produced the pro-Palestinian graffiti that appeared Sunday on an east-side wall said his intention was to create a comparison between the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the plight of Native Americans during periods of colonialism and conquest.

The artist, who identified himself only as “Remy,” said in an interview Monday that the images of armed Israeli soldiers and tanks confronting Palestinian women and children show “the similarities when you look at the indigenous struggle of this continent and the indigenous struggle there.”

Guthrie Miller, who owns the wall surrounding his Santa Fe property at the intersection of Old Pecos Trail and Camino Lejo, said he discovered the series of detailed digital images shortly before dusk Sunday.

“It was a surprise, but actually I think it’s very political art, so it’s not an unpleasant surprise,” said Miller, a retired Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist.

Over the past few years, his wall has held other pro-Palestinian images and signs, added Miller, who intends to allow Remy’s work to stay.

Members of the city’s Jewish community were sharply divided on the artwork, with some supporting Remy’s efforts and others decrying his images as anti-Semitic.

“It’s racist, inflammatory and anti-Semitic to equate the European occupation of the Americas to Israel, which is reestablishing governance in its native land,” said Rabbi Berel Levertov of the Santa Fe Jewish Center-Chabad, who saw the artwork Monday afternoon.

Levertov said the images depict only a “fraction of the real story,” rather than a balanced view of the situation in Israel.

Halley Faust, chairman of Santa Fe Middle East Watch, a pro-Israeli advocacy group, also criticized the images, calling them “inflammatory hyperbole ... almost fake news.

“It’s incorrect in the way it depicts the conflict and totally out of context,” Faust said. “It’s the kind of thing that is pure anti-Semitism because of the way that it depicts the conflict.”

Remy defended his work. “It’s not anti-Semitic to be sympathetic to a humanitarian crisis,” he said, adding some of his supporters in Santa Fe are Jewish, including Jeff Haas, one of the organizers of Santa Feans for Justice in Palestine.

Haas said he believes Remy’s artwork “attempts to humanize these Palestinian kids and say they should have rights like kids around the world have. It confronts people with something that they may or may not have wanted to see. But there it is.”

The images include one of a kneeling Israeli soldier aiming an automatic weapon at a woman shielding two children and a boy throwing rocks at an encroaching tank.

Included in the series of images is a sign saying, “End Military Aid to Israel.”

Remy created the digital images using videos and photos, including one of Muhammad al-Durrah, a 12-year-old boy killed in the crossfire between Israeli and Palestinian forces in 2000.

The artist used wheat paste to apply the images to the wall, a process that took between an hour and 90 minutes, he said, adding several passersby stopped to offer their help.

Remy, who left his social media tag, @F1RSTSE7EN, on the wall, said the work speaks to conflicts that go beyond the Middle East.

“It’s anti-oppression, it’s anti-genocide,” said Remy, of Black Mesa, Ariz., who has had his artwork exhibited in several Southwestern venues in recent years.

Miller, the property owner, said he became politically active in 2003, following the start of the Iraq War, and has sometimes allowed pro-Palestinian advocates, including members of Santa Feans for Justice in Palestine, to post signs on the wall drawing attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Such signs often have been defaced, torn down or destroyed, including a poster hanging on the wall in mid-December that showed five young girls with the caption, “These Palestinian Children Are Just Like Yours.”

Miller said he supports Remy’s effort to get people to “wake up” to the effects the conflict is having on civilian people.

The former Los Alamos scientist, who retired in 2006, first worked on magnetic fusion research at the lab and later began studying the health effects of radiation.

“I had a secure job for all these years and a secure retirement,” he said, “and I never paid attention politically to what was going on. It’s time for me to put myself out there.”

Miller’s home falls within one of the city of Santa Fe’s historic districts. In the past, he has had to get city permits to post pro-Palestinian images on his wall.

“I may get some pushback from the city, but let’s see what happens,” he said.

City spokeswoman Lilia Chacon confirmed in an email Monday evening that Miller will have to apply for a permit to keep Remy’s art on the wall.

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General Assignment Reporter

Robert Nott has covered education and youth issues for the Santa Fe New Mexican. He is assigned to The New Mexican's city desk where he covers a general assignment beat.

(35) comments

Tom Ribe

It is not anti-Semitic to criticize the policies of the Israeli government. That government is way off to the far right and they need to be criticized as do all governments. The mess in Palestine will only be solved with compassion and care, not bellicose right wing nationalism such as we see here with Don Trump and his know nothing staff.

Daniel Valdez

As per USR1 genome, scientists have concluded that so called "native american" ancestors migrated thousands of years ago by means of North American land bridge (Beringia). Therefore, by definition of the word native....are native americans really native to the Americas??? No, they ARE NOT. Who are the original land squatters??

Stephanie Rosen

This "political artwork" is equivalent to a mural depicting a group of black men raping white women and attacking white men in order to show how violent and horrible black men are! It is racist and anti-semitic and taken completely out of context. This is not free speech. This is pure evil HATE SPEECH against a group of people that have been persecuted throughout history. Such a depiction of blacks or other oppressed groups would not be tolerated! And this anti-semitic display of hate needs to go!

Khal Spencer

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks"

Eleanor Stevens

Palestinian human rights are such an important issue. It's a catastrophe funded by our tax money, yet all too often we ignore it. Thank goodness somebody's forcing Santa Feans to look this problem in the face.

Eleanor Stevens

Palestinian human rights are such an important issue. It's a catastrophe funded by our tax money, yet all too often we ignore it. Thank goodness somebody's forcing Santa Feans to look this problem in the face.

Eleanor Stevens

Palestinian human rights are such an important issue. It's a catastrophe funded by our tax money, yet all too often we ignore it. Thank goodness somebody's forcing Santa Feans to look this problem in the face.

Eleanor Stevens

Palestinian human rights are such an important issue! I think it's great that art has sparked a conversation about it in Santa Fe.

Eslee Kessler

Eleanor Stevens- The second Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D. Read your history please.

D. Stark

Wonderful depiction of the issues found not just in Israel and Palestine but almost everywhere around the globe. When the h... will we wake up and understand that we are all of the same cloth?

arthur lynn

There is no comparison between The Native Americans and the Palestinian Terrorists !! Since Isreal's establishment they have been offered numerous peace deals which the Arabs have always turned down....These Palestinians were Egyptian or Jordanian squatters until Arafat invented the term...They are Terrorists who delight in murdering Jewish civilians, including women and children. They do not want peace. They want all Jews dead.I find it amazing that there are actually Americans who support them. But then again there are also some American's that supports Hitler.

Eleanor Stevens

Excuse me? Mr. Lynn, please check your facts. First of all, the region today known as Palestine has been populated since at least the 12th century BCE, and a large percentage of the population has been Muslim since the beginning of the Islamic era (https://www.britannica.com/place/Palestine). To call Palestinians "squatters" is absolutely inaccurate. Second, it is amply documented that, when Palestinian leaders have rejected Isreali "peace deals" (such as the one offered during the 2000 Camp David summit), it has been because these deals, in fact, substantially favor Israelis and disadvantage Palestinians. (See this analysis of the Camp David summit by the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/jul/20/comment#maincontent). Finally, the number of Israelis killed by Palestinians is negligible compared to the number of Palestinians killed by Israelis. in 2018, according to Human Rights Watch, Israeli security forces killed 226 Palestinians, including "189 Palestinian demonstrators, ... 31 children and 3 medical workers," while Palestinian fighters killed one Israeli. To summarize the situation, "The Israeli government [continues] to enforce severe and discriminatory restrictions on Palestinians’ human rights; restrict the movement of people and goods into and out of the Gaza Strip; and facilitate the unlawful transfer of Israeli citizens to settlements in the occupied West Bank"(https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2019/country-chapters/israel/palestine). Is it any wonder Palestinians resist?

Stephanie Rosen

Thank you Arthur Lynn. Yes! This! And so much more. Completely naive Americans with no idea of the history of the Jewish people or of this conflict, supporting Palestinian terrorists. Jews have been persecuted throughout history and this is no different. Nevertheless, despite all of those wanting us wiped off this earth, we have not only survived, but we have THRIVED, and we will continue to do so despite being surrounded by enemies in this country and abroad.

Arnold Mayberg

It would be nice, and relevant for the reporter to tell us who paid the artist for this project.

Arnold Mayberg

Fact: Guthrie Miller has an untrue hate-Israel post on his facebook page, the link for which was pulled by Youtube as hate speech.

Arnold Mayberg

The reporting on this story is incomplete. Looking at this artist's facebook page he has been working on this for a long time. Notice how it says updated 6 months ago. Funny how the artist does not mention the history of this billboard campaign to the reporter. This lack of disclosure also shows up in his art, where he only tells one part of the story. "Palestinian Billboard and BannerAlbumsPalestinian Billboard and Banner

7 Photos · Updated 6 months ago

This project was to create a billboard in solidarity with Palestine complete with messaging regarding their occupation which was to be installed on a major intersection in Santa Fe to inform the local community of their military occupation. After completing the billboard, it was to be installed on a local property owner's wall. Much to the dismay of the residents around the billboard was defaced and torn down on multiple occasions - even backed into by a large truck. More additions to reinforce the billboard and its support structure were made however the damage continued. This destructive campaign against the public education of the Palestinian struggle facilitated through facts was well documented in every instance and has even been covered regularly by news outlets. Despite the ongoing defacement, the billboard has continued to stand strong and has taken many shapes and has had many different messaging. The initial billboard messaging went over so well locally that a banner was requested to be made so I gladly obliged. #FreePalestine #IndigenousResistance #17DL"https://www.facebook.com/pg/F1RSTSE7EN/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2999345776772648&ref=page_internal

malcolm mcfarlane

"It's racist, inflammatory and anti-Semitic to equate the European occupation of the Americas to Israel, which is reestablishing governance in its native land," said Rabbi Berel Levertov of the Santa Fe Jewish Center-Chabad, who saw the artwork Monday afternoon.

WOW! Re-establishment of governance! Well, under international law, the West Bank is NOT Israel’s. Second, this concept that God gave you some land doesn’t have any rational basis. Yeah, somebody claims God chose them, so stuff others isn’t a healthy view of the world in 2020.

arthur lynn

The West Bank is not Israel's ?? Kindly name one other country that returned land won in a war, started by an enemy attack ?? Second, it is not a matter of God giving them that land, Jew have continuously live there for over a thousand years. It was the Jews forced out by the Arabs,not the other way

Khal Spencer

For those who don't live in fantasy land, some history.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Israel

Brian O'Keefe

You are hilarious if it wasn't so deadly a topic. Semitic peoples have occupied the Levant for millennia and only divided into tribes in historic times. Israel declared independence and promptly killed, massacred and expelled Palestinians from their lands. Read the noted Israeli historian Benny Morris. He unapologetically states that Israel had to expell and kill Palestinians to create their rogue state.

Arnold Mayberg

Don't let facts get in your way Mr. O'Keefe. The Arab-Israeli War of 1948 broke out when five Arab nations invaded territory in the former Palestinian mandate immediately following the announcement of the independence of the state of Israel on May 14, 1948. ... The United Nations resolution sparked conflict between Jewish and Arab groups within Palestine. The purpose of the invasion was to kill all the Jewish people in Israel at the time.

Eslee Kessler

What “history” have you been reading? Let’s start with the Diaspora when the second Temple was destroyed in 70 AD. With the whole “ who was here first?” Argument.. ridiculous! the British ruled the area & it was called the Palestine “territory “at the turn of the 20th century.. The Zionist movement occurred as a result of European persecution and Russian pogroms in the late 19th century. read about the Balfour declaration.. the area has a long political history of change.. “Death to Israel” and the use of the word “occupation” & other Hammas propaganda is not political.. it’s pure hate speech.

Khal Spencer

that is blatant garbage. Jews made up a tiny portion of the population during the Ottoman Period. Waves of immigration followed the First Zionist Conference, Balfour Declaration, and the British Mandate. Of course the interwar years and Holocaust sealed the deal on massive immigration to what is now Israel. So the West, with its antisemitism that forced Jews to find a safe place to live, was a huge component. Of course the people already there had their own right to exist in spite of the West's issues.

Its a complex story best read in history books rather than with ideological argle bargle. Israel has a right to exist within secure borders. The rest is negotiable.

Eleanor Stevens

Mr. Lynn, when have Arabs ever forced Jews out of Israel? I believe Jews and Arab coexisted peacefully in Palestine until 1946, when Zionist forces forcibly expelled between 750,000 and 1 million Palestinian Arabs to make way for a Jewish State (https://mondoweiss.net/2015/10/check-msnbcs-palestinian/).

Brian O'Keefe

God gave them the land, according to a thousands of year old book in which burning bushes spoke and seas could be divided by prayer. I don't give the "This land is mine, God gave this land to me" any credibility whatsoever

Khal Spencer

Thou shalt not criticize the State of Israel, right? (as in what happened to my last comment?)

As far as Ernest Dube's firing.

"...The matter was subsequently investigated by the Executive Committee of the Stony Brook Senate, which unanimously determined Dube's teachings to be within the bounds of academic freedom. During August and September of 1983, the committee's position was ratified by Dean Neuberger, defendants-appellants Neal and John Marburger, President of Stony Brook, and the full University Senate by a vote of 55-14. This ratification, however, did not quell the growing furor. ..."

https://casetext.com/case/dube-v-state-university-of-new-york

Khal Spencer

Seems to me that if the property owner needs to get permission to put political art on his own property, he should have a First Amendment case against the city.

As far as Remy's art being antisemitic? Spare me the hyperbole. I'm still disgusted with SUNY for giving the boot ride to Prof. Ernest Dube after he drew parallels between Zionism and Apartheid in an academic discussion. There should be no political sacred cows. If you can't take political heat, stay out of the political kitchen. No nation or movement is above criticism. That includes Palestinian bomb-throwers as well as the State of Israel and its sometimes questionable occupied land and settlement policies.

Pamela Verduzco

Playing the “anti semitic card” is exactly the same as playing the “race card” & dont forget - palestinians are semites!

Jeff Clark

The term anti-semite was specifically coined to refer to prejudice against Jewish people. It does not apply to other semitic peoples.

Brian O'Keefe

Absolutely. Israelis' have co-opted the phrase. If one is anti semitic then one is against all the semitic peoples. The Minoans, Phoenicians, Syrians and on and on were or are semitic. Israelis are just too afraid to admit that they are mostly white Europeans and as semitic as most whites are. Now are they Jew-ish? Yes, but that is ingrained cultural values, not racial.

Arnold Mayberg

After reviewing this guys facebook page I came across a youtube link to "9/11 and Israel: Alan Sabrosky's shocking press TV interview." However this Youtube message appeared. "This video has been removed for violating Youtube's policy on hate speech."

Arnold Mayberg

G-d bless America, I don't agree with this message, but he sure has the right to have it. I am Jewish and pro Israeli. The story that he does not know how it got there, seems like hogwash though.

Joe Brownrigg

This is a welcomed sight! Good work and a truth which needs to be told! Thank you, whoever did it!!!

Khal Spencer

Same person?

http://www.scientistsfor911truth.com/guthrie-miller

Khal Spencer

Pretty good quality political art, regardless of whether you agree or disagree.

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