We expect individuals in a democratic society to act "when horror descends upon us like
the rain". We expect that they will assume responsibility not only for themselves and their
individual acts, but also for the behavior of their society and its members.
In our society there is a steady increase of oppression against its exploited and weakened
members – women, minority groups, disabled, and those living under the Occupation.
Similarly, while our society increasingly ignores the cries and the escalating suffering of
the oppressed social responsibility, as we understand it, is reduced to a faint, insincere and
It is customary for society to point its finger at the protesters and at the demonstrators, at
the opponents and at the dissenters and to accuse them of violating the consensus, of
attacking the national moral and of endangering society. Society demands from them a
moral accounting for their actions. But what about normative society itself, the obedient
ones, those who sit on the fence and conform? Plunging their hands deep into their
pockets, they hesitate, they are sorry and occasionally they sign or circulate petitions but
mostly they simply wait for others to rectify the injustices. These people are personally
responsible for ignoring the situation and for their choice to do little to nothing about the
injustice. Yes, they too are liable even if someone else committed the offence and they
only stood and watched from the side.
This catalog chronicles a project that took place from 25 October to 18 November 2008 at
the Artists House in Tel Aviv. The project is meant to focus our attention on the Israeli
public's deafening silence in the face of oppression. It features the work of artists who
refuse to go along with the silence.
It is our hope that examining and discussing the consequences of silence in the face of
oppression will reinvigorate a collective commitment to social change.
Ishai Menuchin, Miki Kretsman, David Reeb