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Artists 4 Israel Simulate Rocket Attacks in Washington Square

Monday, March 28, 2011

A bomb shelter was put up in Washington Square Park on Monday, but don't worry, it is just art.

On Monday, a group called Artists 4 Israel put up a multimedia installation in the park simulating the experience of being in an Israeli border town under rocket fire. Visitors entered a mock shelter and watched video footage of children responding to bomb sirens in the town of Sderot, where rocket fire from Gaza has been directed. Meanwhile, graffiti artists painted over the shelter's gray exterior.

"There's anti-Israel protests in this park all the time, with all kinds of horrible information that instigate towards the violence that we all suffer," said Artists 4 Israel President Craig Dershowitz. He said he hopes to reach out to young people in the area who aren't used to hearing a pro-Israel point of view. "What we want to do is just put beauty. And graffiti is one of the quickest, easiest and most New York forms of beauty that we could come up with."

Pro-Palestinian protesters showed up as well. One protester interrupted the artists' presentation, causing an on-duty police officer to intervene.

Passerby Sean O'Neil, a student at NYU, said he thought the installation was too one-sided to be an effective work of art. "I mean, it's a really shallow analysis. You know, he [a member of Artists 4 Israel] says kids shouldn't be in bomb shelters, but there's absolutely no level of analysis of why kids are in bomb shelters," O'Neil said.

The installation comes after a week of increased violence in Israel and the Gaza strip. The piece is up for Monday only, due to difficulty obtaining permits.

A member of Artists 4 Israel describes what he says residents of Sderot, Israel experience when bomb alarms sound.
Marlon Bishop/WNYC
A member of Artists 4 Israel describes what he says residents of Sderot, Israel experience when bomb alarms sound.
Posted on the inside of the mock shelter are the lyrics to a  song taught to children in Sderot, Israel to prepare them for rocket attacks.
Marlon Bishop/WNYC
Posted on the inside of the mock shelter are the lyrics to a song taught to children in Sderot, Israel to prepare them for rocket attacks.
Well known New York graffiti artists painted the exterior of the mock shelter.
Marlon Bishop/WNYC
Well known New York graffiti artists painted the exterior of the mock shelter.
An organization called Artists for Israel organized the installation with funding from a Birthright Israel alumni association.
Marlon Bishop/WNYC
An organization called Artists 4 Israel organized the installation with funding from a Birthright Israel alumni association.
Pro-Palestinean demonstrators showed up to protest the installation. One woman interrupted the artists' demonstration, causing an on-duty police officer to intervene.
Marlon Bishop/WNYC
Pro-Palestinean demonstrators showed up to protest the installation. One woman interrupted the artists' demonstration, causing an on-duty police officer to intervene.
Prior to this project, Artists for Israel brought graffiti artists to Sderot to brighten up some of the city's shelters.
Marlon Bishop/WNYC
Prior to this project, Artists 4 Israel brought graffiti artists to Sderot to brighten up some of the city's shelters.

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Comments [11]

Artists4Palestine

Israel = Apartheid 2012

May. 19 2012 01:30 PM
avi from USA

Wow, the amount of ignorance displayed here is astounding. Let's go over it.

Hugh: may I remind you that Operation cast lead was a proportionate response to terror attacks from Gaza? The alternative was letting Israeli civilians die, and the IDF has a moral duty to protect its citizens. Gazan civilians did die, but that's ultimately Hamas' fault as Hamas used human shields. Hamas would hide rockets in school and fire them from hospitals, and then horde civilians into areas that were going to be bombed. If you can suggest a method by which Israel can avoid more civilian deaths, please do so.

As for supposed taking of land, I'm going to have to say [citation needed]

Sharif: a blockade is necessary to stop the influx of weapons to Hamas, and it has been successful in doing so. Contrary to popular belief, Hamas (not the blockade) is what causes the suffering of the Gazans. I'll go into that more if somebody asks. The flotilla's intention was not to bring aid to gaza (most of the aid on the ship didn't work anyways, and Israel said that it would bring the aid to gaza), their intention was to break a blockade. And unarmed? Once the IDF boarded the ship (standard maritime procedure), they were attacked with knives and clubs. These are not the deaths of innocent civilians, they are the deaths of armed militants who intended on committing an act of war.

Mar. 29 2011 03:20 PM
Edward in the USA from USA

Speaking of ILLEGAL.

- plane hijacking
- hijacking planes and flying them into buildings
- ship hijacking
- throwing wheelchair bound people off a ship
- olympics hijacking
- truck bombing - 1993
- kidnapping people and beheading them on video while people shriek that their god is Great
- bombing Pan Am 103
- dynamiting the two 1,500 year old Buddahs of Bamiyan Afghanistan
- public executions of gay people
- stoning women to death for slights against family honor
- threatening cartoonists with death for drawing cartoons
- threatening writers with death for writing a book of fiction

BTW, Checkpoints are a necessary evil at every airport in the world.

Mar. 29 2011 11:50 AM
Donna from New York

Israel Does Not occupy Gaza anymore. Yet is being attacked from Gaza. Please Please stop the hatred. Life is hard enough without it. I grew up in Ashqelon and we had great friends from Gaza who worked there. I still think about Ibrahim and Subhi. I wonder how much better we all be without all this blood shed and terror.

Mar. 29 2011 09:21 AM
Hugh Sansom

Will WNYC headline a piece highlighting what it is like to live under constant Israeli oppression? ... what it is like to live under constant fear of Israeli atrocities?

Mar. 29 2011 08:06 AM
Hugh Sansom

Will they put on a simulation of living under Israeli occupation and war crimes?

- Israeli tank and aircraft bombardment
- border crossings with hours of waiting
- wanton settler violence, destruction of homes and crops -- and of course, murder -- all with the full protection of the IDF
- Endless land seizures
- Denial of every right claimed as essential in the US

Mar. 29 2011 08:05 AM
Sharif Magdi from Lebanon

Gaza is under Israeli occupation according to international law. The Israelis are laying siege to the entire Gaza strip, ground, sea and air, with nothing entering or leaving Gaza without going through the Israeli armed forces.

Remember the Turkish flotilla which last year tried to break the siege, the Israelis had no problem killing 9 unarmed civilians on-board, including an American.

Mar. 29 2011 07:57 AM
avi from USA

Amanee, the targeting of civilians is never justified to meet one's goals. Israel does not target civilians, they target weapons.

Gazan civilians die because Hamas attacks Israel, then puts Gazans in the way of Israel's counter. Israeli citizens die because Hamas intentionally kills them.

I am absolutely baffled that you think terrorism is ever an acceptable tactic when dealing with a (nonexistent) problem.

Mar. 29 2011 12:21 AM
Gary from Brooklyn

Is Sean O'Neil saying that we should understand the "despair" that drives Palestinians to bomb Israel, and therefore be less concerned about and sympathetic to Israeli children who are forced to huddle in shelters?

Mar. 28 2011 10:57 PM
Jason

Israel doesn't occupy even an inch of Gaza, yet rockets still get fired. He interesting thing about the whole conflict is the area that Israel is occupying is in the West Bank, yet the West Bank doesn't fire rockets, mortars, or plant bombs, etc...

Israel evacuated every in h of Gaza. Removed "settlers" and the army, no checkpoints, or any other Israeli presence, and yet it gets attacked from Gaza constantly.

Now what kind of precedent does that set?

Mar. 28 2011 07:33 PM
amanee from jordan

well, rockets is only the response of israeli occupation!

Mar. 28 2011 05:46 PM

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