Giant Antisemitic Sculpture Removed from Burning Man Art Installation

Image: burningman.org

An antisemitic sculpture has been removed by the Burning Man festival.

The piece was set to be included as part of an art installation set to be on display during the massive event this summer.

The 8-foot-by-14-foot fiberglass watermelon has the genocidal title “From the River to the Sea” and was previously listed on the event’s website as part of the installation, but organizers suggest it was only submitted to cause a “stir” and “likely won’t be part of the annual festival.”

A petition signed by more than 1,100 people demanded its removal.

The petitioners argued in the petition:

We, the undersigned, urgently call for the removal of the “From the River to the Sea” art installation at the Burning Man event. This installation features a phrase that has been condemned as antisemitic and recognized as a call for the destruction of Israel. Our concerns are rooted in the following facts:

As someone who has personally experienced the profound pain caused by antisemitic rhetoric, it is disheartening to see this installation using language that advocates for the annihilation of Israel. The phrase “From the River to the Sea” is more than just words; it is a battle cry that legitimizes violence against Jewish people and promotes a vision that denies the Jewish state’s right to exist. This slogan has haunted our community for generations, reviving memories of persecution and oppression.

Condemnation of the Slogan: The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan resolution condemning the phrase “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” as “outrightly antisemitic.” This resolution recognizes that the slogan denies the right to self-determination and calls for the eradication of Israel​.

Recent Atrocities by Hamas: On October 7th, 2023, Hamas, a recognized terrorist group funded by Iran, brutally massacred over 1,400 Israelis​​. Hamas aims to destroy Israel and replace it with a regime of religious extremism. Their continued rocket attacks have left thousands wounded and displaced, with over 23,000 missiles fired at Israeli civilians since 2005​​.

Distortion of History: This slogan perpetuates the falsehood that Jews have no historical connection to the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. However, historical records demonstrate that Jewish civilization has been present in the region for over 3,000 years​​.
Why We Must Act Now: Leaving this art installation intact will only serve to embolden those who seek to spread hatred. Now, more than ever, we must stand united against antisemitism. By removing this installation, Burning Man can make a strong statement that hate has no place in our society. We urge Burning Man organizers to uphold the values of inclusivity and reject all forms of hate.

The listing on the festival website claimed the piece is by “Decolonize Now” and comes directly from Gaza.

Image: burningman.org

 

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