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B’nai Brith Applauds California Art Gallery for Removing Piece by Antisemitic YouTube Host in Edmonton

Inside Saatchi Art Gallery (Nhu Trinh/Google Maps)

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Jan. 03, 2023

EDMONTON — B’nai Brith Canada is pleased that it has succeeded in its behind-the-scenes efforts to have a U.S. gallery remove artwork by an Edmonton-based YouTuber and former radio host with a history of antisemitic conspiracy theories and rants.

The owners of Saatchi Art in Santa Monica, Cal., responded positively to a B’nai Brith letter that informed them of the art by Bogdan Konikowski, called “Azja,” which is Polish for Asia.

Early last November, Konikowski was the subject of a B’nai Brith release and subsequent news stories because of disturbing content on his show. After providing YouTube with the background materials, one particularly offensive episode was removed by the social media platform at that time. B’nai Brith is continuing to work with YouTube about the ongoing existence of his channels.

Last June, Konikowski called the war in Ukraine “one of the greatest pre-arranged concoctions in the history of mankind.” He alluded to Volodymyr Zelensky’s acting background and Jewish heritage while claiming that the Ukrainian President was merely acting out a role. He also said the conflict was contrived to enable Jews to “take over Ukraine and get rid of Ukrainians and Poles.”

Konikowski also said Jews orchestrated the conflict in Ukraine with the intention of removing the native Ukrainian population to build a “Celestial Jerusalem” in the ruins.

“We are pleased that Saatchi Art’s ownership quickly acted on our concerns about Bogdan Konikowski,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “His conspiratorial and antisemitic ramblings are repulsive. We are greatly reassured to see Saatchi Art take this firm action.”