Further evidence in the shift in Israel’s image in the States, and of the desperate measures to which its advocates have been reduced.
Tonight in New York, Artists4Israel (an artists’ group that supports the Israeli occupation) is holding a fundraiser in a tattoo parlor at which it will paint the nude bodies of volunteers to the accompaniment of live music and barbecue– all so the artists group can visit Jewish settlements in the occupied Golan Heights and do art there.
Here’s the promo from an American nudists’ org for the event: “Nudies Wanted For Live Body Art at Artists 4 Israel Fundraiser.” Artists4Israel promotes its event thus:
We would love to add the beauty of the human form to this event and, just as A4I does in Israel, strip naked the taboos which hold us back and put art and freedom above all.
The group Young Naturists America has come under fire for supporting the event. A member of the nudist group, Jordan Blum, who has lived in Israel himself, seems defensive about the collaboration. He writes:
Here are some of the comments we received:
- The Golan Heights isn’t on the border with Syria, it’s Syrian territory illegally annexed by Israel.
- This group is trying to use art and partying to distract from Israel’s oppressive practices.
- A terrible idea that supports illegal settlement and Apartheid!
There were also far more upsetting comments on Facebook. Some made remarks that insinuated that Israel as a state (and the Jewish population that lives there) do not have a right to exist.
The Times of Israel, from which I picked up the story, is quoting some of the comments:
“This is really disturbing… I mean seriously. Fundraising for an Artists4Israel trip to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights? For an organization that supports the Israeli equivalent of white supremacy?” wrote one commenter.
“Despite the edgy, progressive feeling of this event, the group sponsoring it, Artists4Israel, is a right-wing, nationalist, pro-settler group whose support [sic] racist policies of colonization in the West Bank,” charged another.
Artists4Israel have used nudity before. It’s a wonder the Afrikaaners or the French colons didn’t get hip to this sooner…