Artists who signed a letter published in Artforum and other leading art and culture publications are blind to differences between death & destruction and light & peace.
How can these artists be blind to the utter barbarity of the Hamas invasion of southern Israel? How do they choose to ignore the orgy of hate of October 7th when Hamas terrorists viciously murdered 1,400 men, woman, young and old, children and babies living in tranquil villages? When the massacre began, they shot everybody in sight, broke into homes, burning to death entire families, couples embracing and children tied together, raping women, and beheading babies. The barbarian Hamas kidnappers also abducted 2040 Israelis including 32 children.
Look at the emblem of Hamas below! Open up your eyes and see rifles and hand grenades representing death and destruction superimposed on the map of British Mandate Palestine to clearly indicate the desire of the genocidal Hamas Terrorist Organization is to wipe Israel off the map and slaughter all its Jews.
Look at the emblem of Israel with a menorah candelabrum and olive branches to represent light and peace in radical contrast with the Hamas emblem. Comparing the emblems of Israel and Hamas tells the whole story visually!
Although I am an expert on the power of visual images having been professor of art and education at Columbia University and research fellow at MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies, anyone can see the radical difference between the intentions of Hamas and Israel in the design of their emblems.
These blinded artists who signed the letter ignore the Hamas Charter’s murderous intent in contrast with Israel’s Declaration of Independence that offers good neighborliness. Hamas charter is realized in acting out the virulent anti-Semitism and murderous hatred of Jews by the Gaza Arab rulers. It is the basis of the Hamas educational system that indoctrinates children with poisonous hate of every Jew and the glory of martyrdom in slaughtering Jews.
HAMAS’ CHARTER: “Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims. Muslims will fight the Jews until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him. I indeed wish to go to war for the sake of Allah! I will assault and kill, assault and kill, assault and kill.”
When Hamas like ISIS is defeated, it will not only bring peace to Israelis, but also bring freedom to the Gazan Arabs enslaved and abused by the Hamas Terrorist Organization, an Iranian franchise that brutally took over ruling Gaza in 2007.
Historian of Islamic art, Elisabeth Siddiqui, writes in the Arabic journal Al-Madrashah Al-Ula that art and design is the mirror of a culture and its worldview. She emphasizes that there is no case to which this statement more directly applies than to the art of the Islamic world. “Not only does its art reflect its cultural values, but even more importantly, the way in which its adherents, the Muslims, view the spiritual realm, the universe, life, and the relationships of the parts to the whole.”
(I’m taking a break from writing this article to race with my wife into a bomb shelter as rockets from Gaza fall!)
Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of the Hamas founder, said in his interview on the English talk show “Uncensored,” “When Hamas is finally ousted not only would the Gazans celebrate, but they would thank Israel for doing so. I don’t want a Palestinian state. Palestinian children need education, they need security, and they need life. They don’t need another corrupt Arab regime.”
Israel’s emblem shows a menorah and olive branches that symbolize light and peace in powerful contrast to the hate-filled Hamas charter.
ISRAEL’S DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE: “The State of Israel will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture. We extend our hand to all neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighborliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of cooperation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land.”
It is unfortunate that Hamas chooses to promote a self-destructive culture of war, killing, and martyrdom that celebrates death when they could have followed the Islamic path of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco of choosing peace, prosperity, and freedom in collaboration with Israel as expressed in The Abraham Accords. These Arabs are recognizing Israel’s historic place in the Middle East as the indigenous homeland of the Jewish people for more than 3,000 years. After all, Abraham’s sons Isaac, father of the Jewish people, and Ishmael, father of the Islamic nations, are brothers!