Israel Prize Winner to Light Torch at Anti-establishment Ceremony

Independence Day 2002 will be a busy time for David Tartakover: On the eve of the holiday, he will light one of the torches at an alternative ceremony that is being organized by the Yesh Gvul peace movement; and the following evening in Jerusalem, he will be awarded the Israel Prize for design.

According to the Israel Prize panel of judges, Tartakover is receiving the design prize for "his unique work that creates a synthesis between the products of popular culture and high culture ... between the personal statement and the collective representation of local cultural values."

Tartakover was invited to light a torch at the Yesh Gvul ceremony, which has been held for the past four years in tandem with the official torch-lighting ceremony on Mount Herzl, in light of his support for the peace movement since the days of the first intifada.

In 1989, Tartakover designed the movement's poster that read: "What are you doing in the territories Daddy?"

Tartakover says he sees no contradiction between receiving the institutional award and his invitation to light one of the Yesh Gvul torches in a ceremony that is entirely anti-establishment.

"My work is divided into three spheres," he said to Ha'aretz. "A sphere of research and instruction, a sphere of preserving and collecting the usable graphics of the Land of Israel, and a sphere of personal creation that reflects the way in which I see the situation here.

"When I make a poster for Yesh Gvul, I am working from within the sphere of personal creation, out of a belief that Yesh Gvul has something to say and I am helping them to express it. I assume I am being awarded the Israel Prize for the first two spheres of action and not for my personal work."

Tartakover, who also designed the Peace Now logo in the past, said his participation in both events was a reflection of the complex Israeli reality.