These are exciting times for an affluent Zionist hipster. This Spring, Craig Dershowitz, the tattooed, 32-year-old founder of Artists 4 Israel, arranged for the distribution of thousands of condoms bearing pro-Israel messages at the Spanish island dance bacchanal known as Ibiza. At the grand opening party at Sankeys, a popular Ibiza techno club, Artists 4 Israel bombarded party people with 1000 condoms reading, “Fuck It, I Love Israel.”
A self-described “highly trained advocated and creative director/writer,” Dershowitz boasts of his organization’s “passionate dedication to creativity, beauty and Israel which, let’s be honest, is one in the same.” Though Artists 4 Israel was his brainchild, it has received plenty of help from the Jewish National Fund, the Israeli para-governmental organization famous for planting pine forests atop destroyed Palestinian villages, and which is currently engaged in the violent ethnic cleansing of the Bedouin village of Al Araqib.
With a tattoo sleeve on his arm depicting revisionist Zionist godfather Vladimir Jabotinsky, his “favorite Jew,” Dershowitz has become a frequent presence on universities across the country, bringing pro-Israel graffiti artists to campus for the “DTF” tour. Artists 4 Israel fliers distributed at Haverford college explained the connotations of the DTF abbreviation: Israel is struggling to “Defeat the Fanaticism,” demanding, “Terrorists, stop blowing shit up.” At the same time, Israel is a “a land of sexual liberation” that is “Down To Fuck.”
‘DTF’ tour flyer. (Image: Vandalog)
A Haverford student described the DTF tour as “an attempt to manipulate students into having a greater hate and fear of the Arab world and a greater love for Israel.” Describing Artists 4 Israel’s presence on campus as “destructive,” the student wrote, “I feel that the DTF Tour’s visit to Haverford damaged the community. Luckily, students came together to heal those wounds.”
In 2011, Artists 4 Israel attempted to beautify Hebron’s occupied H2 area — a “sterile zone,” according to the Israeli army, with main streets off limits to Palestinian residents. According to Haaretz, Artists 4 Israel graffiti artists painted next to Israel army posts and on the the homes of Palestinians while soldiers stood by and watched. One giant piece portrayed the Temple Mount and read, “May the Temple be built soon in our time.”
In a video posted on Youtube, Dershowitz appeared in the heart of H2 while two graffiti artists in the background adorned a concrete blast wall with an image of the Second Temple. Dershowitz explained that the Hebron project was aimed at increasing international support “for the Jewish people living in its ancestral homeland” — in other words, for colonizing the West Bank. Complaining that some of his artists had been pelted with rocks while in the city, Dershowitz declared, “Their destruction is only furthering our creation.”
Craig Dershowitz (Photo: Aish Center)
Artists 4 Israel isn’t Dershowitz’s only claim to fame. He was seen in 2012 on the Today Show begging for donations to help him wage a legal battle to recover “Knuckles,” his pet puggle, from his ex-girlfriend, who took the dog to Los Angeles and refused to give it back. Claiming to have spent $60,000 on the dogfight, Dershowitz hired super-lawyer Sean Dweck to litigate the case in two courts in New York and in California.
Dershowitz even set up a website, “Rescue Knux,” to beg for donations to keep his legal battle going.
“Knuckles is my son and I don’t mean to come off as if he’s more important than a human child, but to me he is,” he pleaded.
“You talk about pleading for money,” Today Show host Ann Curry said to Dershowitz. “You’re asking for people to contribute to your legal bills. Through the internet there are a lot of great charities that people should contribute to. Why do you think they should contribute to you?”
“I’m only asking for small bits,” Dershowitz responded plaintively. “…This is something that with only a small amount, you can make a huge difference.”