Artists 4 Israel in Beit El
Artists 4 Israel in Beit ElYishai Fleisher

“Artists 4 Israel,” a community of creative individuals “working together in ongoing, collaborative projects expressing Israel’s right to exist in peace and security,” is now hoping to showcase their work in New York City.

“We are the security fence against cultural terrorism,” says the group’s website.

The project, a replication of an Israeli bomb shelter in southern Israel, seeks to raise awareness of the ongoing threat with which Israelis must content, as they are attacked, daily, by terrorists in the nearby Gaza Strip.

Their website explains, “The bomb shelter is a Museum of Living History and Art Installation. A functional bomb shelter built in the exact specifications of those found in Sderot, Israel, on the border of Gaza, this refuge mimics the feel, look, small and sounds of the original. From wailing ‘Red Alert’ sirens to interactive computer terminals, a multi-media presentation provides facts and education about the conflict in the Middle East while artistic flourishes create emotive and important and visceral reactions in the visitor.”

The “Israeli Bomb Shelter Museum” debuted at the Vered Gallery in East Hampton, New York and has already been visited by Senator Frank Lauternberg and featured in Newsweek and other prominent publications.

Now, the group is hoping to bring their controversial “Israeli Bomb Shelter Museum” to Columbia and Barnard universities, located in Upper Manhattan. 

The student groups have not yet received authorization to host the event.

Last March, the NYPD and the City Parks Department were forced to shut down the artists’ display in Washington Square Park, in downtown Manhattan, just half an hour after it was installed, due to the loud sirens that violated city code.