Threats by pro-Israel advocates are nothing new in the art world

As can be seen on our page, Resisting Bullying and Censorship, artists and arts organisations in the UK have been subjected to all forms of pressure and threats in an attempt to get them to conform to a pro-Israel agenda – the result frequently being censorship of important cultural works.

Below is a flavour of the tone of attack experienced by artists; perhaps in this particular case the author does not have the influence he boasts of, and is simply peddling antisemitic tropes. We hope so. Risible though the email we received may appear, similar threats from well-placed individuals and groups are a matter of serious concern to independent arts organisations, as we saw in the case of the Tricycle Theatre.

Email received by Artists for Palestine from Claude Gubbay, 20 February:
Dear Sir,

I am a contemporary Art collector and when I was [he means ‘saw’] what 100 [it is now 1000] irresponsible artist where doing and boycotting Israel with NO UNDERSTANDING of what is going on in either Palestine or Israel it saddened me greatly. I have decided to boycott purchasing any of the listed Artists and I will use all my influence to stop anyone purchasing works by these artists.

I am going to get a letter to the presses around the world on the grounds of Anti Semitism because what you have done is pure Anti-Semitism it does not address the problems with any logic at all. The fact that an out lawed terrorist organisation runs Palestine sending thousands of rockets into Israel , Builds Tunnels and spends all foreign money on arms etc.

All it says to me and the wider intelligent world population is here are an ignorant bunch of Artists meddling in what they don’t know. Perhaps we should meddle now and black list these artists and stop buying their works and not allowing them to enter shows or exhibit their works after all they depend upon our support lets stop as there are hundreds of better Artists that we can spend our money on.

Do these stupid Artists realise that the very world that they depend on is mainly supported by Jews, the dealers the collectors etc.

This Boycott is a totally ill conceived Anti -Semitic gesture that needs to be stopped, It sends out the Message that Europe is becoming impossible to live in if you are Jewish.
(emphasis our own)

One thought on “Threats by pro-Israel advocates are nothing new in the art world

  1. micksmith says:

    Please don’t trot out antisemitism. Israel is a state, a political entity. Religion is another matter. The boycott is an expression of distaste toward the activities of the STATE of Israel. It doesn’t help that a carefully worded statement about the boycott is responded to by someone who lowers him or herself to terms like ‘stupid artists’.



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