Archive for March 5th, 2010

“THE COLOR AND HUE OF A NEW GENERATION OF ARTISTS” by Fern Sidman

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Artist 4 Israel

Hip Hop artists and graffiti virtuosos from New York painting their way throughout Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Sderot? Who’d a thunk it, but it appears that a new organization called Artists 4 Israel will be doing just that. Founded about a year ago following Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, young artists in the New York area had just about enough of the incessant anti-Israel propaganda being spewed forth by the “politically correct” denizens of the radically left-wing enclaves that figure so prominently in the eclectic world of the New York artist and decided to do something about it.

Taking a courageously bold stance in their support for Israel, a cadre of young artists led by New York artists Craig Dershowitz, Tara Lyn Gordon and Seth Wolfson and several others were determined to debunk the ubiquitous myths that circulate about Israel being a racist, apartheid state and a callous war machine bent on the destruction of its enemies. Thus, Artists 4 Israel was born as an umbrella organization for graffiti and street artists, alternative poets and playwrights, hip hop musicians, modern dance troupes, photographers, sculptors and rap chanteurs to express their support for Israel as an open and free pluralistic society that fosters artistic license and expression. Through the implementation of highly inventive educational modalities as well as original street theater and other creative outlets they have succeeded in opening the hearts and minds of a new generation.

“Hamas started a culture war. We decided to be pro-active rather than defensive. Artists 4 Israel is the offense. Rather than countering the misconceptions, lies and hate preached by the terrorist funded Hamas culture war against Israel, A4I utilizes the arts to tell our own stories and create our own narratives highlighting the rights, beauty and strength of Israel”, intoned Craig Dershowitz, a founding member of the group.

For the last year, this seminal movement of collective artists and culture warriors has virtually exploded within the parameters of the chic art scene by “creating their own narrative” and garnering support in the bastions of the downtown art gallery world. “When the war in Gaza broke out, our artists started painting really great signs for the pro-Israel demonstrations that were held and people took notice of the fact that our signs were way more powerful than those of Israel’s detractors. Subsequently, we held a pro-Israel art gallery showing in Manhattan that drew close to 500 people and 85% of those in attendance were contemporary artists under the age of 30. It was then that we knew that Artists 4 Israel could really have a major impact in the liberal arts community”, said Mr. Dershowitz

Other awareness initiatives began soon thereafter including “The Keffiyah Exchange Program” which was modeled on the NYPD’s Cash for Guns program. While the keffiyah fashion craze has gripped the artists community, many in the Jewish world are disturbed by the jihadist symbolism that it represents. As such, Artists 4 Israel is offering “Free Stuff for Stupid Scarves” in partnership with a number of clothing brands, bars and restaurants and is giving away gifts to anyone who gives up their keffiyah at any of their drop off locations.

In order to spotlight the brutal oppression of women by male hegemonies in Islamic countries, Ariists 4 Israel
has created a campaign to “dress down radical Islam” by sending out their own civilian cops or “fashion police” to hand out what appears to be tickets to immodesty dressed women on New York’s most populous streets. In actuality, these tickets are postcards addressed to the Saudi Arabian embassy in Washington, DC protesting their nation’s treatment of women as inherently inferior beings. The A4I web site says, “Israel is a country of many freedoms, including equal rights and protection for women. By contrasting these liberties with the oppression and subjugation practiced by Israel’s neighbors Artists 4 Israel demonstrates the strength of Israel’s democracy”.

Empowering and educating young artists is also a major tenet of Artists 4 Israel and as such the group conducts programs on high school and college campuses. Artists 4 Israel teaches students that they have the power to use their individual talents and creativity to become advocates of their chosen causes. A4I offers practical guidance and leadership training to help students affect change.”What makes our organization effective is the fact that we are totally inclusive and we reach out to everyone, irrespective of religion, race or nationality. While we are an advocacy group for Israel, we are non-political and we do not take stances on issues pertaining to the conflicts between religious and non-religious factions in Israel or the disparity of viewpoints between the left wing or right wing parties”, said Mr. Dershowitz.

The highlight of this year’s A4I activities will take place from April 24th until May 2nd, when Artists 4 Israel will be sending some of America’s most famous street and graffiti artists to Israel on their “Murality” project. Murality joins the words “mural” and “morality” to display an ideal of justice within and through art. “Israel is a country that is predicated on the highest levels of morality and ethics” said Mr. Dershowitz and “we want our artists (who are not Jewish) to experience this first hand.”

The artists will be traveling to Sderot, Kiryat Gat, Herzliyah, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv to battle terror and rockets with messages of unity and peace. In Sderot and Kiryat Gat the artists will be conducting art therapy classes with the children of these war torn communities who often experience post-traumatic stress disorder. These children and the entire community will join with the artists to transform the grim reminders of terrorism into soaring masterpieces of freedom and expression. While in Sderot, they will paint bomb shelters, Chabad’s rocket defense walls, army bases, the Jewish National Fund’s Indoor Recreational Center and Ateret Esther, the only school not fully protected from rocket attacks. In Kiryat Gat they will transform bombed out buildings into living art installations. In Jerusalem, they will design murals for “The Story of Hope”, a haven for Jewish women trapped in abusive relationships with Arab partners. In Tel Aviv, the artists will organize a large scale art exhibit of their works for the entire community in one day.

“Our art ambassadors will be painting from the time they wake up in the morning until the time they go to bed”, said Mr. Dershowitz. We want them to maximize their time and efforts as the artists hope to share their gift with as many of Israel’s residents and organizations as possible” he continued. Artists 4 Israel has also attracted the attention of Israeli performance artists including Meital Dohan, a leading actress in the Showtime series “Weeds”, who contacted A4I indicating her interest in becoming involved in this endeavor and has been chosen to be the official spokesperson for the “Murality” project in Israel.

“It is our fervent hope that this trip to Israel will prove that America’s avantgarde arts community supports Israel by sharing a message of hope and peace from America to Israel” said Mr. Dershowitz.

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Fern Sidman holds a B.A, in political science from Brooklyn College. She was the educational coordinator for the Betar Youth Movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She was national director of the Jewish Defense League from 1983-1985. She was a researcher for several books written by Rabbi Meir Kahane, ZTK”L. She was the managing editor of the publication entitled, The Voice of Judea, and is a regular contributor to its web site. She is currently a writer and journalist living in New York City. Her articles have appeared in The Jewish Press, The Jewish Advocate, The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, and numerous Jewish and general web sites including, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Pipes and Michael Freund.
We are delighted to have Ms. Sidman as a regular contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.

“The Obama Way: Bluster, Bully, Bribe” by Michelle Malkin

Friday, March 5th, 2010

The White House took great offense this week when conservatives suggested President Obama might be trading a judicial appointment for a wavering Democrat’s vote on his health care reform plan. “Absurd,” a miffed administration official told Politico.com. Wherever could the American people get such an impression? Let us count the ways.

On Wednesday, the very day Obama hosted 10 swing Democrats who had opposed the expansive health care takeover bill in November, the White House issued a press release trumpeting the nomination of Scott M. Matheson Jr. to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Matheson just happens to be the brother of Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson of Utah — one of the 10 Dems invited to sip wine and nosh on calorically correct appetizers with the arm-twister-in-chief.

The seat on the 10th Circuit has been vacant for nearly a year. When one of the judges, Michael McConnell, resigned to take a lucrative post at Stanford Law School last summer, Matheson — Rhodes Scholar, law school professor and dean — let the White House know right away he wanted the job. For nearly a year, there was no action.

Liberal groups have been complaining for months about the glacial pace of Obama’s judicial nominations — a predicament they blame not solely on obstructionist Republicans, but on Obama’s own team of incompetent, indecisive foot-draggers who put the issue at the bottom of their priority list. (It’s worth noting that Utah GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch supports Matheson’s candidacy.)

As the National Law Journal pointed out at the beginning of this year, “the Obama administration has been slower than the Bush administration was in sending judicial nominations to the Senate, submitting 12 circuit nominations last year compared with 28 for Bush in 2001. The White House last named a circuit nominee on Nov. 4.”

Now, out of nowhere, comes the announcement of Matheson’s nomination — in the heat of White House vote-grubbing to salvage the Democrats’ government health care designs? To quote Dana Carvey’s old Church Lady character on “Saturday Night Live”: How conveeenient.

Let us consider the possibility, for a brief moment, that this is all merely coincidence. Is the White House so fantastically blind and tone-deaf that it failed to detect the blood-red flags and blaring alarm bells that Scott Matheson’s judicial nomination would raise coming on the very day Obama was wooing his brother? Incorrigibly corrupt or incorrigibly stupid. Take your pick.

Read the rest of the article here.