Annonymous.Activist.Artists (A.A.A.) is a group of activist artists, Jews and Arabs, from various parts of Israel. Through our work we seek to raise awareness about the troubling phenomenon of extremist groups taking over the public discourse in Israel. While this situation is not unique to Jerusalem, we see it as being most sharply expressed in this microcosm.
In this project, we display photographs of secular Jews who have chosen to leave Jerusalem alongside those of Arab residents expelled from the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
Many Jews, secular and religious, have left Jerusalem for a variety of reasons, including financial difficulties and lack of housing and employment, but also due to societal conflicts. Many secular Jews, particularly the young, have left the city because they feel a constantly diminishing sense of belonging - culturally, socially and ideologically.
Alongside this phenomenon of emigration from the city, there has begun in recent years an alarming process of expelling Palestinian residents from the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem. The status of East Jerusalem has yet to be settled, and the area remains a center of dispute between Israelis and Palestinians and has an unresolved standing in the context of international law. Many of the residents of East Jerusalem are not citizens of Israel, which allows the Israeli government to easily infringe upon their rights. Many families, including children, have been thrown out of their homes with the cooperation of official institutions: the Jerusalem Municipality, the police, the Knesset and the courts, including the Supreme Court.
The intention is to slowly but surely rid Sheikh Jarrah of its Arab residents and Judaize the neighborhood in a process that has already begun.
We see a direct connection between the expulsions in Sheikh Jarrah, along with the injustices perpetrated against the Palestinian population in Jerusalem, and the exodus from the city of Jews who hold liberal and secular beliefs.
As these deportees receive no coverage in the Israeli print and electronic media, we have decided to give these people a face here.
The team is made up of Jewish artists who believe in the right of Jews to live in Israel and Jerusalem, but who find these actions to be contrary to Jewish morals and values, which we know to be human and humane.
We must not abandon the fate of Jerusalem to politicians and fundamentalist groups.
Jerusalem must remain a home for all its citizens and residents, a city of peoples and religions, a city of believers and secularists together!