Religious artist opposed nudity and was ousted from group

FB group for Israeli painters member writes post asking to avoid sharing nude paintings in group. Next day he finds himself ousted.

Yonatan Gottleib ,


Until the beginning of the week, religious painter Elazar Amitai was a member of the Facebook group with over 41,000 Israeli painters.

In the group painters share their work and chat about the world of painters. Among other things, as is customary in groups of artists that include painters from all sectors, the painters also shared nude compositions.

Earlier this week, on Sunday at 1:00 AM, Amitai shared a post he wrote in which he asked to find a creative way to rethink procedure to avoid sharing nude paintings.

The next day, Amitai found out that he and the post he wrote had earned vitriolic reaction, the post was removed by the group administrator, and his group membership was even canceled. He was told he was in violation of the rules of the group that prohibit violence or offensive content, and was told that he had violated the group's rule prohibiting "publishing defiant posts intentionally meant to stimulate unrelated discussion. Posts that were just for the purpose of provocation will be locked or deleted in accordance with admin consideration."

"True, I write a little like a wiseguy and more blunt than saying 'whoa too bad they upload naked paintings like this'," Amitai said. "Still, I thought it was no more blatant than the paintings themselves. Yes. Even if it's a painting and not a photograph."

He added, "What happened next was incredible. First of all, it was amazing to see people awake at those hours; I thought I was the only one. What still amazed me more was that people hated during those hours. Wow how much hate. They're busy hating all day; how do you keep it up?! It sounds very tiring ... such hostility, ignorance, cheap superiority...

"I chose not to respond to anyone. Although, as you understand, G-d has blessed me with a feeling heart and fingers that write. Thank G-d, I held myself back. Not because I'm weak, not because I wasn't offended, not because I had nothing to answer. I held back because I had no interest in trying to convince someone to give me something that I really don't deserve. It's a private group, you can upload any drawing of any kind, you have the choice of whether to participate or leave," he noted.

"The truth was that I expected artists to be a bit more human and respond in a more mature style, but in a democratic state you can also respond like a teenager even though you're 50. It's perfectly legal. I found a warm home of artists some of whom are sensitive and contain every person who thinks just like them. But exactly like him. In the morning, when I saw the post was dropped and removed from the group, I contacted the group admin with an explanation request. What I understood from her remarks was that I put up an 'offensive and violent' post and so I was banned," Amitai said.