Echoing U.S. Street Art, Tel Aviv Activists Paint Mural Against West Bank Annexation

The 900-square-meter ground mural is a tribute to Black Lives Matter murals that have popped up in American cities recently

Naama Riba
Naama Riba
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'The People against annexation' mural painted in front of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, July 4, 2020.
'The People against annexation' mural painted in front of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, July 4, 2020.Credit: Eldad Alony
Naama Riba
Naama Riba

Artists, social activists and families came together to create a giant ground mural against annexation in front of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art on Friday.

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The 900-square-meter (almost 10,000 square feet) work, which features the text, “The people are against annexation,” is a tribute to the murals that Black Lives Matter activists have been painting in cities around the United States in recent weeks.

On the mural are 1,000 large stickers on which people could draw or write anything they wanted. The artwork was planned in coordination with the Tel Aviv municipality and the museum, but the two bodies were not involved in the creation of the mural itself.

The mural was removed on Sunday morning.

A bird's-eye view of the mural, July 4, 2020.
A bird's-eye view of the mural, July 4, 2020.Credit: Eldad Alony

The work is divided into three parts. The parts that say “The people” and “are against” were drawn by artists while the bottom part, which says “annexation,” was created by parents and children.

“The distribution of the colors in the word “people” symbolizes the nations and the various hues of the citizens living in the Land of Israel,” says graffiti artist Itamar Paloge (aka Faluja). “The colors are connected on the one hand to the colors of the nation, and on the other, to colors of protest.”

He adds: “The word ‘against’ is surrounded by eyes with a tough and angry look, which symbolize the faces of the people who are tired of paying with their money and their blood for the irresponsible steps of the government. The mask in the middle of the story is connected to the present, to silencing people under the cover of the coronavirus.” The pictures of a prickly pear cactus and an olive branch in the middle of the mural symbolize localness, “the connection to the place that belongs to all of us, and hope,” he explains.

The mural was initiated by Headquarters of Citizens Against Annexation, a group established after Kahol Lavan entered the government coalition. Despite the government decision to postpone annexing parts of the West Bank, the group went ahead with painting the mural in order to mark the postponement.

“Anyone who is pro-Israel must oppose annexation,” said the group. “To oppose annexation to be in favor of our livelihood, in favor of our economy, in favor of our security, in favor of our army, in favor of the doctors, the self-employed. It means being in favor of the elderly and in favor of our children. Annexation will cause us to disintegrate from within. Opposing the annexation means being in favor of our lives – in favor of our future.”

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