As Israel’s righteous warriors carried the banner of justice into Gaza, the hopes and prayers for freedom rode upon their backs. It was December of 2008, a new year on the horizon. In America, separated only by a distance made insignificant when the bonds of belief held us close, Americans held high their signs of support and unity. At that moment, each one of us was an Israeli. Each one of us was a soldier. And, when we put marker to oak tag, finding expression for our dreams of peace, we were all artists, united by the muse of Israel.
Some of us, well, we were already artists. We were part of the creative community. Dancers, writers, sculptors, painters, illustrators, designers, musicians, a pool of talent as limitless and diverse as Israel herself. Even the infamous among us found a more noble pursuit. Graffiti artists and street artists shed their anonymity and joined the electrified masses that marched to the UN singing, chanting and carrying signs of their beliefs. Our signs were clear, factual and loving. In bold letters, we wrote upon the watching sky that we were Artists 4 Israel.
We were born from a protest. As we created a community for Israel within the arts, other artists created a community for us. One after another, they approached. I am a pianist and I support Israel. I am a modern dancer and I support Israel. Even a very young girl who liked to draw pictures from her memory of the skyline as witnessed from Massada as she had experienced while being held upon her father’s shoulders, marched into this new morning and declared: I am an Artist 4 Israel.
It was clear, we were not alone. Israel is not alone. Despite what a vocal few would have you believe, an entire, expressive, majority of creative individuals - A community of artists - stands with Israel.
It is our joy, our privilege and our duty to create, to make clear the beautiful expression of life and art that is our muse, our Israel.