A letter from members of the Art community addressing the OPEN LETTER FROM THE ART COMMUNITY TO CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS
We, members of the art community, are saddened and disappointed by the OPEN LETTER FROM THE ART COMMUNITY TO CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS, published in several major art magazines, such as Artforum, Hyperallergic, and Artlink, and by the blatant lack of any mention of the heinous massacre carried out by Hamas in the south of Israel on October 7th. The letter was signed by many colleagues and friends, individuals with whom we share many ideals and common struggles. The omission of any substantive acknowledgment and condemnation of Hamas’s acts added to the deep sadness, trauma, and despair that we are experiencing in the wake of October 7th.
On that bloody day, Israeli Jews, Palestinian citizens of Israel, and foreign nationals, were indiscriminately murdered and abducted. The massacre of hundreds at a rave, the rapes, brutalization, the mutilation of bodies, torture of children, the wiping out of entire families, the killing of medical workers, cannot be described as anything less than a crime against humanity.
What's most upsetting is the complete absence of any mention of over 200 people kidnapped, most of them civilians, including babies, children, old and sick people. Those who signed the letter demand a ceasefire because of humanitarian reasons. But, in the letter, the hostages are not part of the humanity they are appealing for. By omission, they are giving legitimacy to the abduction of civilians. Yes, We accept and support calls for ending the violence, supporting Palestinian liberation, putting the end to the occupation (like we have for years), and the cease of killing of civilians in Gaza and everywhere. By ignoring the rights of all who live in Israel, It's as if those who signed the letter are dehumanizing all of those who live in Israel, the 9 million people who have a right to exist.
To delve into the details of Gaza and then make only a general statement that condemns violence from all sides without giving any room to the horrors of October 7th, undermines the moral stance taken by the letter’s signatories. The fight for liberation and freedom could be a shared effort involving all who believe in these principles, fighting together to achieve them. It's vital to acknowledge the suffering of everyone rather than adhering to extremist fundamentalist ideologies, which have brought us to this harrowing point in time.
There should be no contradiction between staunchly opposing the Israeli occupation and the crimes in Gaza, and unequivocally condemning brutal acts of violence against innocent civilians in Israel;
Both should come together.