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Friday, May 20, 2011

Artists4Israel stoned in Hebron

I think I was kind of vague about my meeting with Artists4Israel on Wednesday night. I think I said I was meeting with some representatives. In fact, we had all 18 of them who are here in Israel over for dinner Wednesday night - the second time we've invited an Artists4Israel group to our home. I strategically seated myself among the artists, a couple of whom were laughing about getting stoned in Hebron earlier in the day (and how the IDF soldiers stood around doing nothing - I told them that was because of the lousy open fire rules under which the IDF operates). I'm happy that the incident ended without anyone being hurt (Hat Tip: Zvi S).
Residents of Hebron woke up Thursday to discover their city painted in bright colors. For the past two days 15 artists from the US and Europe have been hard at work painting large-scale graffiti art on bulletproof cement walls, homes, and IDF bases.

Craig Dershowitz, a Jewish resident of Manhattan and the president of Artists4Israel, told Ynet that most of the artists who worked with him on the project were not even Jewish. "We have no political message," he said.

Danny Cohen, Chabad envoy to Hebron, met some of the group members by chance two years ago, when they painted over Sderot, and invited them to the city.

"They had no trouble with the fact that this is Hebron, because these guys have a goal – which I very much agree with – to take places that have a bad reputation, and are associated with fear and chaos, and insert a little color into them," Cohen said.

"The artists themselves are not really interested in politics. They love this country and don't make any distinction between towns inside and out of the Green Line."

Cohen added that the graffiti painted in Hebron was unique and suited to the complicated atmosphere in the city. "We at Chabad Hebron decided that the visit will be devoid of any political persuasion and more spiritual and historical, without the argument between Left and Right – and this suited them," he said.

The artists paid for the flight to Israel while Chabad offered to pay for all of their needs.

"We had to supply some 700 spray cans," Cohen said. "But the city certainly looks different. You cannot but notice the beautiful drawings everywhere."
Actually, I think 700 spray cans covered only Hebron. According to one of the founders, they spent $20,000 on this trip on spray paint alone. And the artists donate their time, but don't pay for the flight - Artists4Israel pays for that too (a ticket is over $1100 from the US right now). So if you'd like to help out Artists4Israel, please go here.

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At 2:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow... I posted their notice about a NYC event and should have known something was up when Craig Dershowitz asked me to remove him from my mailing list after he saw a few posts. He had contacted several pro-Israel groups in NYC and asked for help getting their message out. I did not do my homework before posting. My apologies, Carl, as I know you linked to my story.

At 4:42 PM, Blogger Dreyfus Amadeus Diallo said...

Thank you, Carl. We miss you and your wonderful family very much.
You are wrong about one thing though - Haaretz did come after us before. Their article, that time, was relatively balanced. However, those who commented were clearly off-balance if you know what I mean!


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