Three dozen Israeli and Israel-based artists (myself included) have issued the following statement calling for an immediate ceasefire in Lebanon:
We are opposed to the war, to the Israeli army’s horrible bombardment of Lebanon and to Hezballah’s firing of rockets onto northern Israel. Our conflict with our neighbors has lasted for more than 100 years and so the question of who started this round of violence is irrelevant. We believe that conflicts are solved through dialogue, negotiations and compromise, not through violence, more bombings and annihilations, more security zones and occupations, more territories in which soldiers and civilians alike will be killed from both sides.
As Israeli citizens we are responsible for our government’s actions. It is our duty to do all that we can to stop the war crimes committed by our country in our name. The Israeli army’s actions in Lebanon – the shelling of entire neighborhoods, the destruction of bridges and roads, and water, communications and electrical infrastructure, and especially the killing of hundreds and wounding of thousands of nonaligned civilians – are an immoral and criminal response. It is the common interest of Israelis and most Lebanese that Hezballah be disarmed and obliterated and for the shelling of northern Israel to be stopped. Yet, our rash and cruel reactions lead to the opposite outcome.
It is a civil and moral duty to oppose the government and the army’s actions in Lebanon and in Gaza. We stand in solidarity with our northern neighbors, the Lebanese, and our southern neighbors, the Palestinians, whose lives are coming to ruin. We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in northern Israel, who the government, under pretext of defending their lives, has turned into the hostages of its floundering diplomacy.
We love Israel. We have chosen to live here, in the Middle East, and we want to contribute to it, to be a part of it, and to enjoy all that it has to offer. But the walls of hatred, the shelling and the forceful military actions corner us back behind ghetto walls. Under such conditions we will not be able to live in this region in peace for many years to come.
It is with a love for Israel, a love for Lebanon and a love for the entire Middle East, with true patriotism and love for our homeland, for mankind and for peace, that we call for the immediate ceasefire of shelling and all military activities, the release of Lebanese, Palestinian and Israeli prisoners and hostages, negotiations with any party that is willing including the Lebanese and Syrian governments, Hamas, and, if possible, Hezballah as well.
Many of us have signed petitions, participated in demonstrations and distributed important information through the media and internet. These are important actions, but they also increase the feeling of helplessness. There are no magic answers. Every action is a step on the way to revolution. Instead of being comprised of just names, this exhibition is a petition consisting of visual signatures (using design, photography, comics, painting, video, etc.). We are recruiting our creativity and talent for the fight against war.
Click here to view the petition in Hebrew and Arabic and to view the gallery of visual signatures.