Culture, Global, Israel, Politics

Drafted Art: Israeli Artists Call For Immediate Ceasefire

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.

29 thoughts on “Drafted Art: Israeli Artists Call For Immediate Ceasefire

  1. War crimes? Oy mobius. I can’t believe you signed this wishy washy piece of junk. I mean it calls for the obliteration of Hezballah and suggests that this can be done by Israel simply laying down its arms. If only it were that simple. It makes me sad that you put your name to this – I really thought you had grown beyond naive maybe even mendacious pie in the sky statements like this.

  2. Why do artist and “intellectuals” always think their opinion carries more weight in these matters. All of Israel stands behind the actions of the IDF. Are they less moral or intelligent than the self appointed guardians of Israeli culture?

  3. It is nice to finaly see a jewish site that is fair and on the right arab side of the truth. So many jewblogs are pro-isreal and jew without looking at the truth. Keep up the good work.
    Khal, Palestine.

  4. sorry, but not all of israel stands behind the actions of the idf, and as this conflict rolls into its 4th week, it’s more than apparent that the idf has made countless tactical errors, including the collective punishment of lebanese civilians, which has only emboldened israel’s enemies and created strength and unison among them. yesterday’s attacks on the north have proven that a harsh military response against hezbollah will yield no victory for israel. hezbollah must be stopped but it cannot be stopped like this.

  5. So, uh, mobius my friend, how do you and your buddies suggest we stop Hezballah? As for collective punishment,the bombing of Lebanese infrastructure is occasioned by the fact that this is the infrastructure that allows Hezballah to operate. Your petition calls for the obliteration of Hezballah. OK. Good. But how exactly?

  6. mobius, as usual, you do not disappoint. you continue to reveal your ignorance and lack of perspective. HELLO! Islam is rising up and training their children for WWIII and global jihad. These people do not understand the word “negotiation”…we cannot sit down with them and sign a piece of paper that declares peace….it is very very easy to tear up an agreement. I am not a proponent of war, however sometimes it is very necessary. Israel must teach the arabs a very harsh lesson….force is one of the only things that speaks to them clearly.
    In the 80’s a yeshiva student at Shuvo bonim in the arab qtr of the old city was attacked and stabbed…the rosh yeshiva told his students to go out and beat any arab that they found on the street….the students complied and guess what? The yeshiva has never been messed with again.
    B’nei Yishmael must be taught a very tough lesson right now…it is very unfortunate and sad…but they have forced us, a people opposed to using violence unless it is the last resort, to hit them hard.
    Believe me, if the arabs truly apporached israel with an honest peace agreement…EVERY JEW WOULD COME RUNNING TO THE TABLE. However, they refuse to do this out of pure hatred that transcends all logic.
    israel MUST continue to defend itself.
    Mobius, get your head checked, buddy.

  7. The conflict with Hezbollah and Lebanon is not the same as the fight with the Palestinians. It absolutely does matter who started this violence and to fall back on empty platitudes intellectual laziness and moral cowardice. The Lebanese government through impotence and/or aquiecence allowed an Islamic fascist organization to form a state within a state on its southern border with Lebanon. Six years after the withdrawl, Hezbollah built up a military arsenal with thousands of rockets and other state of the art weaponry. They were trained in military organization by Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards. They are sworn to Israel’s destruction and the creation of an Islamist state.
    And you think dialogue can solve this and nobody is to blame?
    Gee, if only Poland had talked to Germany instead of fighting in 1939 WW2 would never have happened.
    Please, recruit your creativity and talent to win the war instead of fighting against it.

  8. As a composer for film, songwriter, web designer and all around neurotic artistic Yid (hell, I’m a shrink during the day)…please…PLEASE don’t turn to artists and musicians for geo-political solutions. And look, I love creative folk, and most of ’em are my friends, but like Mobius, they believe a beat and some pixels can solve all the worlds’ problems. In general, they’re well meaning, narcissistic and attention seeking whores…the whole lot of ’em. They/Me think we’re doing huge things, we just wanna get laid….get some respect. Kinda shallow at it’s worst, makes you wanna cry, dance, celebrate at it’s best. But don’t ever…EVER…turn to ’em for solutions to complex problems.

  9. mobius, why don’t u forget about whether or not it is popular for one second and use your head. Israel needs to do this, so don’t be some idealistic space cadet…Jewish boys are dying every day….so support the soldiers! Almost every soldier out in the field wants to be there and realizes that this is a necessary job….so while you sit on your little computer in cafe Hillel spouting poetic about the missteps of the gov’t, there are brave, patriotic Jews saving your country so you can enjoy the walk to the kotel on shabbos.
    Wake up!

  10. Mobius: If only this were a popularity contest – we could appoint Angelina Jolie to be theUN Special Envoy and be done with the whole thing in one charming afternoon. Given that this war enjoys 81% support amongst Israelis how can your people say they love Israel? Especially if it is guilty of war crimes. So again, I repeat. How does one obliterate the Hizbollah as per this petition? What solution are the signatories offering? I ask because nothing is offered in the text of the petition.
    Believe me, I don’t want to sound mean. I don’t want to stifle independant voices. I crave peace. That having been said, what alternative solution is being offered. Gimme some tachliss here. I disagree with you of course but I’d like to have a reason to respect your decision to put your name on this petition.

  11. I’m not Mob or an artist, but here’s what should be done:
    1. Israel should declare victory and end hostilies.
    2. We should exchange all prisoners.
    3. We should permit an international force to sit on the Shebaa Farms region, EVEN THOUGH Hezzie’s claim to it is bogus.
    4. Using the steps above, apply diplomatic pressure to get Lebanon’s gov’t to disarm Hezbollah, with the backing of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt.
    5. Restore Israel’s deterrent power with smart effective use of force, as opposed to shotgun style bombings that kill more civilians than enemy combatants.

  12. It really is so sad that a guy with such brains, creativity, and talent should be attracted to the whole “give peace a chance” arsty rhetoric that just doesn’t make any sense given the context of the current conflict. The pictures sure are nice to look at, and some are even thought-provoking, but:
    “the Israeli army’s horrible bombardment of Lebanon,” juxtaposed with “Hezballah’s firing of rockets onto northern Israel”? sorry? which is horrible? not the side that is deliberately targeting civilians, and hiding between, among, and under their own?
    “nonaligned civilians,” as if they’re not hiding hezbollah rockets under their beds and in their basements. i mean, ok, decry hezbollah’s cynical use and manipulation of the civilian population — but “nonaligned”??
    and why is it that you “love” Lebanon and the entire MIddle East? can you explain that love in the face of the irrational, genocidal hatred that your “love” is met with? do you really mean that, mobius? you “love” Iran?
    this romantic idea of “revolution” and being “against war” is really just so depressing. no one loves war — except maybe all the people who are trying to kill us. to refuse to acknowledge reality in the name of some romantic ideal is really just incredibly immature.

  13. Oy.
    Peace, like truth, eventually must surface. So why not end the casualties sooner, rather than later?
    Think of how many lives would have been saved, had the Treaty of Westphalia been signed 27 days after the beginning of war, instead of THIRTY YEARS.
    There is no ‘romance’ to a call for cease-fire , and negotiations. What is, however, perversely ‘romantic,’ is the notion that our entire history is the shoa.
    OURS was the first story of the cosmos that began in harmony.
    WE did great things with our mini-renaissance in Spain, under Moorish rule.
    OUR Yiddish renaissance was awesome.
    WE made the desert bloom.
    The horror of the shoa is not our identity; ‘never again,’ as Hava Keller has said, must mean for everyone.
    Again: immediate cease-fire. Marshall Plan for reconstruction. Implementation of the Geneva Accord.
    If non-official Israelis can keep finding peace partners, so should the government be able to.
    Olmert — listen to your daughter! Not to Dick Cheney.

  14. ck and mobius –
    I’m too tired after my overwritten (yet insightful) comment on ck’s Jewlicious report on WIB to be specific here. For one, Mobius, be thankful you’re not a WIB or ck will call you incontinent (“I’m keeding”). Here goes: I understand the impracticality of a cease-fire at this point. By “at this point” I’m saying to ck that the time is fast approaching where Israel has to look at it’s operations tactically and assess whether or not they can achieve their goals before they’ve lost sight of the bigger picture and find themselves in a quagmire. I know you’re gonna ream me on this ck, but fighting a war is not just about killing. Just as George Bush simplifies complex situations and ignores the benefits of coalition building, so do Peretz and Olmert find themselves at a crossroads. They can’t continue a war of attrition much longer without showing it leading to a lasting peace. And it’s important that when there is a Lebanon free of hizbollah, it would be nice if our old Lebanese allies would continue to be that.
    Mobius, ck’s point that the draft is worded in a way that gives credence to those who feel Israel is the only side not fighting fair is well taken. Hizbollah is a terrorist group posing as a political party. Really, how are you going to obliterate a terrorist organization devoted to destroying Israel through peaceful negotiations? Appeal to their humanity? Even a large international force legitimized by the U.N. won’t suddenly disband hizbollah. You want the best of both worlds. A cease fire should only be implemented if it’s purpose is giving the responsibility of eliminating hizbollah to the international community and off the Israeli’s hands. Not just provide a buffer between southern Lebanon and Israel. It’s interesting to see at which point the moderate/liberal Jewish bloggers, initially unified, start to split off from each other. That should be a sign for the Cabinet to start reassessing where it’s at in this war.
    Now can we talk more about how awesome Maccabi Tel Avi is?

  15. Miriam, the fundamental flaw in your logis is that it’s not about us. It is not hyperbole to say that Hezbollah is a fascist organization which is bent on the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people. Their katusha rockets are real. Their Zelzal rockets are real.
    Peace does not just surface. Sometimes it must be won. You don’t negotiate a cease fire with people who want you dead or else they will just come back later to try again to kill you. There are no peace partners in Hezbollah.

  16. Is anyone aware of the precarious situation that US and UK troops are in vis-a-vis Iraq? The Shiites were burning Israeli and American flags in a huge protest. Lots of angry chants about the US support for Israel. We could be in for some severe casualties, many times more than Israel has endured, if our Shiite “friends” decide to turn on us. The situation is bad enough as it is without having this destabilizing conflict brewing next-door. Sorry, but you will have to find another way to defeat Hezbollah. The unquestioning US support for your current actions is fast coming to an end.

  17. Mobius:
    I disagree fundamentally with your position (but I would guess you knew that I would), but deeply admire your standing up to be counted for what is surely not a very popular opinion. Kol ha’kavod…you got moxie, mate!

  18. here;s the war crime: my parents weren’t killed in Auschwitz, so now the islamofascists are going to finish the job and when they are done with us, they will go after everyone else. because the world needs to live in poverty and women have to be shit baby making machines of monsters like ahmadinejad and nasrallah. they are the saints and we are crap. and that’s they way it is.
    and that my flesh and blood is so stupid scares me

  19. and now that i said from a mom’spoint of view, i want to know what international law israel has broken to be accused of war crimes, while you white wash hiezbullah and hamas ans syria and iran. you love fucking Iran?
    This is hitler finishing the job
    And you will be used to give aid and comfort to the enemy by destroying the morale and spirit of those who have to go out there and die so that you can sit on king george and blog shtuss.

  20. KM, your words might potentially demoralize the peace camp. We might even stop blogging from the safety of our home front. What makes your camp’s emotional comfort any more precious than mine? I hope that more Israeli soldiers on the front line will become incensed with the decisions made by thier leaders, and refuse to continue in this manner.
    Just how many dead is enough?

  21. This stance isn’t even very Jewish. Our sages were not pacifists, they were not naive and gentle and sentimental people. They looked unflinchingly at reality: sex shit food death money anger ….. turn it and turn it for everything is in it. They were not moral purists. They had some stringent divinely mandated practices, most of which can be trumped by common sense needs of survival, of either the individual or the community. There are very few actions which mandate martyrdom, staying alive is more important than being perfectly observant.
    They were not young green idealists whose ideals require maintaining illusions. They were seasoned mature idealists, with no illusions. Judaism doesn’t privilege youth and innocence. Like most ancient cultures, Judaism privileges the wisdom of experience.
    There is a lot of war and conquest in our Torah. It is not all there so smug “social activists” can make midrash explaining it away because war and conquest Aren’t Nice. You study Torah and Talmud, but you have no idea who those people were, and you can’t even tell that you aren’t letting them teach you. Cognizant of the impertinence of putting words in their mouths, I do think if they read your piece they would call you meshuggeneh.

  22. They might very well do that, Yehudit. But I do think that Mobius (and the rest of the signees) deserve a voice for their views, irrespective of however misguided you or I might feel they are. I would like to believe that the democracy of Israel is superior to the theocracy found elsewhere in the mid east in that one can feel free to criticise without reproach.
    That said, I don’t agree with Mobius and his fellow signees. But I am pleased that my fellow Jews feel safe and secure enough to voice such opinions as it speaks volumes for how far we have come as a people in just the past 50 years.

  23. Why is there nothing on this site regarding Adnan Hajj? I realize most of you would prefer that a Reuters photographer would not doctor photographs to make Israel look bad. Hey, me too. But the fact remains, the dude did it. Where is the outrage? Why are the only people making noise about this on the right? And, given that we know the dude did it, we should be very wary of jumping on the “war crimes” bandwagon.

  24. adman haj is a lying pos, as are the pr people from hezbullah who tote around dead bodies of babies and say the jews did it.
    this is as bad as it was in the 30s think about this.
    why don’t t Jews believe it when the whole world says that they want us dead? How many thousands of years will it take to sink in?

  25. Matityahu, i don’t think anyone’s disagreeing with his right to sign this. just saying it was the wrong position to take.
    And Mirism, “Peace, like truth, eventually must surface. So why not end the casualties sooner, rather than later?” what Israeli or jew doesn’t want to do this? it’s beside the point. the point, as randy notes, is that hezbollah wants to kill us. go meet a mugger in the street with your “peace, like truth, eventually must surface,” and see how far it gets you to peace. if the other site doesn’t want peace, but rather wants to KILL YOU NO MATTER WHAT, then peace, alas, is out of reach. but sure, let’s just call it all off and see what happens. first, however, i dare you to move to kiryat shmona. we’ll all be right behind you, holding our little peace signs in the air, and running back into our bomb shelters as hezbollah declines to notice that “peace, like truth, eventually must surface.”
    the fact that anyone imagines that hezbollah — or, let’s call a spade a spade — IRAN and SYRIA want peace with israel, is really beyond belief.
    and now, back to spending my time on helping the people who are suffering as hezbollah rains down on them their rockets of peace.

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