from AUSTRALIAN JEWISH artists
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 07/11/2023
Australian Jewish creatives and academics call for collective humanity in the face of a rising discourse of hate, and urge for a mutually empathetic public dialogue.
As antisemitic incidents spike around the world, an open letter signed by hundreds of Jewish artists and academics expresses escalating safety fears and cites experiences of being directly threatened in workplaces here in Australia.
A group of more than 520 Jewish academics and artists has come together to express a call for empathy and humanity in the face of profound collective grief. The open letter addresses the brutal massacre and kidnappings of Israeli civilians by Hamas terrorists on October 7, as well as the devastating deaths and suffering of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.
The open letter is signed by a diverse group of Jewish academics, artists, writers, filmmakers, musicians and other creatives from various fields, including Lior, Simon Tedeschi, Tottie Goldsmith, Dennis Altman, Professor Sharon Lewin, Evelyn Krape, Kerri Sackville, Emile Sherman, Rachel Berger, Professor Kim Rubinstein and others. It emphasizes the deep sorrow experienced by both the Israeli and Palestinian communities, acknowledges the immeasurable trauma inflicted upon both peoples and urges understanding and empathy during these impossibly challenging times.
The letter also shares concerns about rising antisemitism. “We want you to know that since Oct. 7 many of us are feeling increasingly unsafe, even directly threatened, in our workplaces and elsewhere,” the signatories wrote.
The letter, which was corralled by author Dr Lee Kofman, calls for empathy for the suffering of all innocent victims – Palestinian and Jewish. Kofman says, “I was shocked by the binary language and perspectives voiced by so many of my peers in the academic and creative communities. As intellectuals and thinkers, we urge our peers not to forget that we can hold two truths at once.”
The letter highlights the lack of understanding and empathy prevailing in these industries, which is leading to a discourse of antisemitic hate and potential for violence.
The signatories state, “We are calling on our fellow creatives and academics to show empathy for the suffering of innocents on both sides of this hideously complex conflict. By doing so, you are not abandoning your progressive ideologies. Rather, you are reinforcing them by affirming our collective humanity.”
Visit www.jews4humanity.com for more information, to view the full letter and see the current list of signatories.