Vomit 4 Civil Rights | 2013
I, Asher Lev, a former resident of Nazareth Ilit, am reacting to the racist policy of the mayor of Nazarth Ilit (Israel), Shimon Gafso. I find his words so disgusting that I feel like throwing up.
Concept and Performance: Asher Lev
Camera: Addie Reiss and Sascha Engel
Editing and Post Production: Sascha Engel
Still Photography: May Castelnuovo
Special thanks to GLIKSON/RED RENTAL for camera equipment support.
Video - full work
Nazareth Ilit – Jewish Forever!
This cannot be taken for granted, but it is rather the result of a decisive stance and a daily struggle
When I entered into office, many said to me that we will not be able to stop the emigration of Jews from the city. And so, in past years, entire neighborhoods were deserted by their Jewish residents and the rate of Jews in the population went and decreased with the passing of each year. This tendency, which began with the naïve belief in a message of coexistence, was and still is a big danger to the very existence of a Jewish community in the Galilee. It is the arrival of Arab residents that encourages Jews to leave and the danger of a complete abandonment of the city by Jews is not an unimaginable scenario. I have decided to face this complicated challenge with decisiveness and might. No more shutting of the eyes, no more nostalgic clinging to the law that allows each and every citizen to live where he or she desires. This is the time to guard our home!
And so, with a decisive stance in face of the surge, with a daily struggle, with public clear statements and with unspeakable acts, with courage and commitment, we have done the incredible: we have halted the demographic withdrawal and kept the Jewish rate in the population at 82%. Safeguarding Nazareth Ilit’s Jewish identity is the most important task that the mayor has and it is the most critical one to the future of the city and to our lives here. Any other success in any municipal area will be worthless if our city loses its identity and the Jews look for ways to escape it.
I never hesitated and was never ashamed to declare in a loud and clear voice: I will not allow the Jewish character of the city to be altered. I will prevent at any cost the establishment of an Arab school in Nazareth Ilit and I will move to building neighborhoods that are intended for Jewish residents. All requests for foreign characteristics in the city are refused. And following suite to this policy, we have placed Israeli flags in the entrances to the city so that people will know that Nazareth Ilit is a Jewish city, this is how it was founded and so it will remain. And, ignoring what will be said about us, in Nazareth Ilit, the Israeli flag will continue to be displayed at the top of the mast!
My decisive stance cannot be taken for granted and in fact, it is not characteristic to other mayors in a similar situation and even to my predecessors in office. It is true, this path of mine has “honored” me with many derogatory names, scornful letters and attacks by leftwing media groups. I was called a “fascist”, a “bully” and a “raciest”, but the condemnations and insults, and also the threats and pressures do not deter me and will not discourage me. This is because I receive my power and strength from you, residents of Nazareth Ilit. You elected me to stand at the forefront of this just cause you are not willing to, anymore, for the beautification of the soul and for the sanctification of the values of democracy, to endanger the Jewish identity of your city.