Saturday, December 31, 2011

Our Website Has Been Hacked



Dear All,

Our website has been hacked.

We apologize for this inconvenience but are proud that someone finds us so effective as to try and stop us.

Unfortunately, it is this sort of destructive behavior that is too common amongst the enemies of Israel.

An Open Letter to the Angry Arab



Based on: http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/12/artists-for-israeli-war-crimes.html

Dear Angry Arab,

On December 30, 2011, you re-posted two articles regarding Artists 4 Israel. While both articles were critical of a one of our programs, they were respectful in tone and appreciative of our many other initiatives.

Your re-posting was without any critical, rational or intelligent consideration. In fact, other than re-print the letter and links sent to you, your only additions were the following: 1: You misspelled our name and 2: you accused us of “war crimes.”

Angry Arab, using the term “war crimes” so blithely is a gross insult to the many actual victims of such crimes. While it is also a great insult to us and a nearly insurmountable barrier to dialogue and peace, that pales in comparison to the disgusting and immoral misuse of the term in regards to those who have suffered or, even, perished due to actual crimes. By muddying the definition, you make the opportunity for such crimes to continue into the future far too probable as people become desensitized to its usage. “War crimes” is not a tool of rhetoric.

Of course, yours is a site that also disparages Mother Theresa and exploits the suffering of Arab children to increase your hit count so it is clear that sensitivity is not your modus operandi. Your post was shameful and embarrassing.

Sincerely,
Craig Dershowitz
President
Artists 4 Israel

An Open Letter to RJ Rushmore



Based on: http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/12/artists-for-israeli-war-crimes.html

Dear RJ,

A man’s friends say a lot about the man.

The Angry Arab blog (the actual name of his blog) re-posted a letter you sent to him asking him to help “spread the word” about Artists 4 Israel. While I do appreciate your work on behalf of our PR and marketing, I think you should choose more moral and credible allies.

The Angry Arab did nothing more than re-post your e-mail with two minor additions. 1: He misspelled our name in the subject line and 2: he accused us of “war crimes.” As one whose family suffered from the Holocaust and as a sensitive being who feels compassion for the victims of war crimes throughout the world, I find this flippant usage of that term abhorrent. Besides my personal and professional outrage, such usage portends terrible consequences as it has the potential to desensitize people to the actual horror of such a term. I think you would be quite saddened if “war crimes” became a rhetorical tool or every-day insult.

RJ, although I have, obviously, disagreed with your opinion of Artists 4 Israel and found you to be somewhat confused in your own thoughts, I have respected the rather civil and professional way in which you have expressed yourself. This is a step too far and I hope you will disavow your relationship with the blog that treads on the memories of the poor victims of actual war crimes.

Sincerely,
Craig Dershowitz
President
Artists 4 Israel

Friday, December 30, 2011

2nd Letter to RJ Rushmore




Based on: http://blog.vandalog.com/2011/12/artists-4-israel-part-two/

RJ,

I am vey disappointed that after more than a month, with unlimited resources and an entire academic community of research available to you, the best you can come up with is a rambling diatribe that does little more than accuse me of racism and say the equivalent of “Artists 4 Israel is right, but…”

There is so much moral equivocating and misleading information in your article that I have to expose to the light of truth but I am tired and busy. I know, a terrible excuse, but true. You had more than a month. You had my answers. You had an opportunity to research and all you come up with is a twisted misinterpretation of facts and mishandling of your responsibilities as a reporter and as a thinker. I will, of course, respond to your lies and accusations and offer you a much more realistic method for truly addressing the conflict in our thinking and understandings.

I am busy because I am traveling to Israel tomorrow to receive an award for Artists 4 Israel’s work in painting the bomb shelters in Sderot. Are you familiar with Sderot? It is a tiny city that sits on the border of the Gaza Strip. Daily, it is bombarded by rockets by Hamas and the people you refer to as Palestinians. I know you accuse me of oversimplification. But, sometimes, simplicity is the very definition of truth. Trying to camoflauge b.s. with 5,000 word verbal vomit that trips over itself is the very definition of lies and having something to hide. The Devil is in the details. Truth is in simplicity. Love is good. Chocolate is tasty. Terrorists trying to murder children is bad.

Let me oversimplify for you again since that seems to bother you so much. Shooting rockets at innocent people - bad.

More simplification: Children should not die because of terrorism.
Is this too simplistic for you?

Try this, then: “Palestinian” television, movies, books, educational system and popular culture celebrate murderers and terrorists. Their children are raised in a war-like culture. Please visit PalestinianMediaWatch.org or CAMERA.org and, before you claim they are also Pro-Israel and cannot be taken seriously, I don’t want you to read any of their writing. Simply, click on any number of links that show “Palestinian” media and tell me if any of those things, pulled directly from the horse’s mouth, are not violent, misogynistic, disgusting and at odds with the ideallyc picture you attempt to paint.

Israel provides awards for those who attempt to use art to create and for those who attempt to soothe the suffering of children. The popularly elected leadership of Gaza choose to name soccer stadiums after killers of children. I can end this document here. Nothing more needs to be said. It is simplistic, indeed, but completely accurate. Seriously, I have to pack.
Unfortunately, though, it seems I must also defend myself against your ad hominem attacks and continued befuddling, muddying and complex system of innuendo and lies.

Throughout the article, you say how I hide behind an accusation of racism against those who disagree with me. What you fail to do is explain how the answers where I discuss racism were based on questions you posed to me about racism. It is a cheap trick at best, gross negligence to your duties as a reporter and downright slander at worse to ask a question, get a specific response to that question and then pull the question so as to make the answer, appearing out of context, seem different than it is.
Yet, even with your attempts at libel, I stand proud and happy with my answers. So must you as you more than once call my points “factual accurate,” and “legitamite.”
What is not factually accurate is repeating a comment that some student maybe, might have potentially heard someone say. The student thinks she remembers Seth saying something about Temple students being “stupid?” This is the most embarrassing piece of writing imaginable.

Oh wait, no it is not. Because soon after this heresay of which the accuser herself isn’t even sure, you trot out some near-Professor to respond to arguments that were never even raised. I take great offense to this almost-Professor’s criticisms. He pretends to know my entire belief system based on a narrow window of answers I have given. Yet, again, like you, even with all the antipathy he holds for me and DTF, he still admits we are right! Amazing. Then, in the most twisted display of pseudo-logic available, he actually makes up an argument for me and debates it! Apparently, my answers to your questions were so valid, so truthful, so airtight, that the only way this Mendelsohn can find fault in it is by making his own arguments. “Dershowitz didn’t go for…” Right, I didn’t say it. So, then, why defend against it?
Ok…last thing. The specific points raised in the flyer.
Demand the Facts: As always, you agree with me. (“Yes, people could be better educated about their history…”) Thanks, again. Of course, there are negative and positives on both sides. Study the history. Do the research. 100 times out of 100, you will find Israel to be just, moral and politically, historically and culturally correct.
Defeat the Fanaticism: More agreement from you, RJ. (“True, extreminism threatens rational discourse.”) Why are we arguing? You keep agreeing with everything I say. You think Hamas, the dictatorial regime known for murdering Israeli children as well as their own politicall opponents are “probably” not the best group for fostering peace. Yet, Hamas is the recognized, popularly elected government of Gaza, the chosen representatives and leaders of the “Palestinian” people. The few Israeli settlers who may have done some things wrong are not the Israeli people. In fact, Israel has an entire system of law by which to punish anyone who transgresses against the life and liberty of others. If you have ever been mugged in New York, do you indict the entire city or the entire country?
You then get on this kick about Israel “blowing shit up.” If, by that, you mean fighting defensive wars in which they target the very rockets that have for more than two years been launched against civilian towns, then, yeah, we do that. Israel also drops leaflets, even in times of war, before any bombing raids giving citizens who live near rocket launchers 24 hours to clear the area. This is a dangerous and stupid idea in the time of hostilities yet Israel does so to fight the most moral war possible.
Down to Fuck: Third fact and third agreement from you, RJ. (“Israel is a land with more sexual liberation than Palestine (sic).” You recognize this is a good thing, right? Your only response is to point out a few isolated incidents where there have been regrettable hate crimes against homosexuals. Similar hate crimes occur in the U.S. but, in Israel like in the U.S. these crimes are punished. That is not the same as in “Palestine” and, in fact, a large homosexual Arab population has moved to Israel, hiding from the oppressive and dangerous Arab countries into which they were born.
Diversity Triumphs Over Fear: Final set of facts and final agreement from you, RJ. (“Legally, one could argue that the first part of this is true.”) Jeez, man, you accuse me of verbal manipulation and games but say sentences like the above. Is it true or not? Do Israelis – whether Arab or Jew – have more freedoms in Israel than in “Palestine?” Or, for that matter, anywhere in the Arab world? Yes or no, RJ? Your only point is to point out one poll that says some Arabs are discriminated against. Well, duh. Throughout the world, people are discriminated against for various things – race, creed, religion, weight, intelligence, gender – but only in places that I will support is this discrimination against the law and punishable when proven.
The question of whether Israeli Jews are discriminated against in “Palestine” is curious. You see, Israeli Jews are not allowed into “Palestine.” I am going to go ahead and call that really bad discrimination, if you don’t mind.
Oh, I will also take great pride in you acknowledging that “the DTF tour…brought students together.” Unlike you, who sits on the sidelines yelling at imaginary wrongs and injustices, we try to make things better. It is similar to having a blog where you promote graffiti, providing information for the cops to use to track and arrest the very artist you exploit for personal gain, without ever getting up yourself – but, I digress. We set out to create dialogue and we did. You set out to prove me wrong and failed. Just like the Israel – “Palestinian” conflict, one side creates and births – the other attempts to destroy and kill.
Seriously, enough. I need to pack and you need to go back to reading Said.
But, this dialogue that we started is important. There are a million lies and innuendos in your piece that need to be addressed (did you really quote the Walt-Mershemier piece that has been unanimously rejected by every serious author and even disowned by the authors themselves? With all that time on your hands – you should have done better research). So, how do we contonue the dialogue?
RJ – I offifically challenge you and Radwan and fake Professor Mendehlson to a debate. If the word “debate” is too aggressive for your delicate liberal mind, call it an “open discussion.”

Thursday, December 29, 2011

An Open Letter to RJ Rushmore


Based on: http://blog.vandalog.com/2011/12/artists-4-israel-part-one/


It can be said that a man’s failings can be measured by the fault he finds in others. RJ, in his petty and baseless accusations against Artists 4 Israel, is proof. While RJ screams “manipulation” over and over again as if his vocabulary was limited to sound bites, it becomes clear that he is practicing the very manipulation he claims to be decrying. In fact, his verbal sleight of hand is far more nefarious as his is a subtle brainwashing. Worse yet, his attempts to deceive are hidden behind a veil of truth seeking, a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Like screaming “fire” in a crowded movie theater, he is attempting to create panic and unease – once again, a manipulative writing trick. Either RJ is a faulty narrator misinterpreting the deeds of others or he is a crafted wordsmith, using his own lies as to create the very sentiment he claims to be describing. It is my desire to figure out which is true. Is RJ an impotent puppet of false truths and misinformation or is he a skilled manipulator, throwing salt on others to hide his own negative intentions? Lets figure it out.
In the first paragraph alone, RJ uses some variant of the word “manipulate” twice. Of course, this word also appears in his preface. In writing, there is nothing more manipulative than the continued repetition of a theme or idea. This is the reason that lawyers and politicians repeat themselves so frequently. Like the terrible pop song on the radio that you begin to love because you’ve heard it so often, familiarity breeds acceptance. If only RJ could say “manipulate” more often, he would no longer need to worry about the burden of proof regarding what was actual manipulative .It is easy to throw words, harder to defend them. The proof RJ is searching for does not exist so, he must invent some.
RJ makes a valiant effort to try and hide his own bias and attempts at manipulation by trying to create an aura of mystery around Artists 4 Israel’s ownership over the Defend the Future tour. In a fit of self-aggrandizement almost as embarrassing as his own inability to hide his biases, RJ discovers, like a modern-day Woodward and Bernstein, that…gasp…Artists 4 Israel were the creators of this event. Who was RJ’s Deep Throat? Who was his hidden, dark informant? What feat of brilliant investigative journalism led him to this awesome discovery? It was…wait for it…the webpage for the event! And, well, also…um…Facebook. Yes, folks, RJ figured it out by looking at our public information and social media. What a super sleuth. RJ is a regular Hardy Boy. Or, maybe he is right. Maybe, Artists 4 Israel are some nefarious scheming bastards – hiding their information in plain sight like that – even going so far as to hand out information pointing out their part in this event. In a world of pseudo-journalism and conspiracy theorists such as RJ, truth might just be the best place to hide.
Unfortunately, truth and facts don’t seem to concern RJ much. Maybe his idea of journalism is a little watered down. This is a blog, after all, that posts pretty pictures of criminal activities. Its very name has the word “vandal” within it. Not that there is anything wrong with writing such a blog. Heck, I did it for many years. But, like Jon Stewart always points out in regards to his show – I knew mine to be one big joke. RJ takes his desire to be a reporter far too seriously yet hides behind his disclaimer that the opinions expressed therein are his and his only. Unfortunately, so are his “facts.” Of the only two actual pieces of verifiable information he did put in the story, only one was right. He spelled Seth Wolfson’s name correctly. Way to go, guy. But, alas, he got his title wrong. Now, I do understand this is a blog post and not subject to the rules of journalism that require an unbiased opinion or, even, you know, truth but I do believe that RJ’s readers deserve a modicum of respect that their writer would at least attempt to pretend to maybe know about what he was talking. Maybe. Perhaps in his zeal to continue to uncover the mystery that was written on his Facebook wall, RJ did not have time for fact checking.
You see, RJ admits to ignoring or denying facts. He has great antipathy for the researched, vetted and correct information presented on our flyers but outright dismisses them, saying that “even if the flyer is 100% accurate” which it is “it is not working towards diversity and a peaceful coexistence.” Using RJ’s own logic, there is no room for truth in dialogue or in peace. If not, then what does RJ suggest we do instead? Does he want everyone to be uninformed?
To his use own admitted tactics and behaviors, we understand that RJ’s method of creating peace and dialogue is to attempt to stifle debate, manipulate others and censor. First, he attempts to hold a counter event next to Artists 4 Israel’s event. Then, he and his crony attempt to tell the Artists 4 Israel volunteers what to write on their mural. Finally, he bullies a fellow student to stop handing out information that RJ himself considers to be “100% accurate.” Without getting too specific, it seems that, once again, RJ, the great writer, just as he did by being “manipulative” while talking about the “manipulation” of others, is mimicking his subjects in his own writing. There is, indeed, a group of people who, in the name of “peace,” lie, threaten, deceive and destroy. I will let the reader determine who those people are. RJ already knows and has, apparently, learned their lessons well.
His intimidation and manipulation continue. While claiming to be unbiased and assuming the role of a reporter, he admits that he was “surprised” and “blown away” by the inclusiveness of our mural. He then says, both in the same sentence, that he was “misled” but also that our work was “in line with” what had been described to him. Now, he is just contradicting himself. He claims to want peace yet the only real argument he seems to be able to lodge against Artists 4 Israel is that we are pro-Israel. It is not anti-peace to support a nation and its citizens as Artists 4 Israel does. It is anti-peace to seek to destroy a mural depicting that support like RJ does. It is not anti-peace to use the arts to express viewpoints or to use culture and creation as a source of dialogue and conversation, as Artists 4 Israel does. It is anti-peace to attempt to stifle that dialogue and conversation as RJ does. It is not anti-dialogue to put out factual information encouraging students to learn more as Artists 4 Israel does. It is anti-dialogue to demand those facts be hidden and then demonized, as RJ does.
If we are to ever reach a point of agreement and advancement, it is up to the youth – the Future – to know all the facts and to see all the sides of the conflict. Until the facts are learned and understood there will only be bias like RJ promotes or fake, bullshit lies that lead us nowhere. Artists 4 Israel recognizes the need for an honest review of the issues, even if it offends RJ’s admitted bias for a people who are not all innocents except, seemingly, in RJ’s screamingly problematic mind. RJ – on behalf of the Future – I demand that you allow us free from your manipulation and to deal with this important topic with honesty and open eyes!
You say that your mural would not have been “divisive” yet claim it would have only represented one side. You ignore that Artists 4 Israel had twice as much wall space set up for students, like you, to express any information they wanted. You take the space of your blog post to promote at least one other organization with an anti-Israel agenda although they have no relevance to this story at all. You claim to support an agenda that is anti-war, anti-racism, anti-poverty and anti-partisan politics yet openly support a dictatorial regime (partisan) that murders non-believers (racism), has the destruction of a country and its people written into its founding documents (war) and is either so corrupt with the despotic rulers stealing from the people or keeping from them to manipulate sentiment on their behalf that it leaves more than half of its population destitute (poverty). I beg you, RJ, to speak plainly for once in the entire article and admit that your issue is not with Artists 4 Israel but with the fact that your own politics violently rub and tear against your mindless, fact-less support for a cause that is so powerful to you that it blinds you to any rational, accurate, correct, creative, artistic dialogue.
Apparently, today, RJ will print a story where he speaks to Artists 4 Israel and gets some real answers to his questions. This is called “burying the lead,” another well-known manipulation by writers. By the time RJ gets to discussing a possible counterpoint to his lies, they have already had a day to set in unchallenged. As such, he is debating a group that doesn’t yet exist in his story and for whom he speaks. This is another standard manipulation practiced by writers. It is called a “straw man,” a term with many meanings none of which are positive and is antithesis to fair analysis.
Yet, even amongst all his rhetoric and political posturing, RJ still admits, in summation, that Artists 4 Israel has done what world leaders, activists and even RJ himself, the great Anderson Cooper of his own mind, could not do. We began dialogue. RJ and I are dialoguing right now. If not for his own partisan politics and attempts to manipulate, we could be discussing the Middle East and ways to achieve peace. But, even though I am locked in war of words with his myopic and fatalistic worldview, others are making headway. As RJ says, our event spawned so many discussions that “worked wonderfully as an opportunity to exchange ideas in a respectful manner.” Well, thank you, RJ and, you are welcome.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Subject: A note from a fan

Just wanted to say that I'm very inspired by the work your group is doing for kids in Israel.

Keep up the amazing art!

Warm wishes from Los Angeles, CA

Kristina
www.wishproject.me <http://www.wishproject.me>

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Freedom To Create

Hello -

Artists 4 Israel has some historic news to share with you! As part of the international Freedom to Create prize, there is an on-going outdoor photography exhibit featuring the best work showcasing artistic vision and international diplomacy. This Prize was judged and selected by some of the great and culturally significant artistic and humanitarian minds of our time, including but not limited to, Salman Rushdie, Daryl Hannah, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Ana Tzarev. The exhibit is currently hosted in South Africa. Last year’s exhibit toured Cairo, New York, Mumbai and Sarajevo. The exhibit is currently hosted in South Africa. Last year’s exhibit toured Cairo, New York, Mumbai and Sarajevo.

Two Artists 4 Israel photos from our Murality trip to Israel, both shot by our own Seth Wolfson, are part of the exhibition. The photos on display in South Africa.





This is HUGELY impressive and important. We are the ONLY pro-Israel advocacy organization even being considered for this incredible prize; let alone to be a part of the exhibition.

Across the world now, our message is being spread: Israel is a beautiful country that chooses art over war.

This is where we need your help. The international community has recognized how important A4I's methods are and we ask you to do the same. We ask you to consider a donation. $10 buys a can of paint for an advocacy program, $5000 funds Artists 4 Israel on a local college campus, $20,000 puts A4I on a campus that requires travel, $65,000 would fund A4I's fourth Murality trip to paint bomb shelters in Israel. $300,000 would fund Artists 4 Israel's programming for a year. $500,000 would fund A4I's entire 2012 budgetary needs- including both programming and fully staffed operations. Yes, we do make the most of our funding!

Please take a moment to think about the importance of Artists 4 Israel's mission: Artists 4 Israel uses the power and universal messages of art to educate, support and provide awareness about Israel.

We are the only advocacy organization using the arts to change the universal bias towards Israel. Please donate here www.artists4israel.org/donate.

We thank you in advance for your time and generous contribution.

Sincerely,

Craig Dershowitz

President
Artists 4 Israel