leaflets, underground press and posters
the fusion of resistance and creativity in israel
Presented here is a collection of flyers, posters and underground papers prepared mostly by Israeli Jewish anarchists, pacifists and radical leftists over the past thirty years.
This collection encompasses ideas and opinions rarely allowed expression either in or outside of Israel. The flyers were never published in great numbers and rarely made it across Israeli borders due to the language barrier. Moreover, the established press and the authorities joined forces in trying to silence these ideas by preventing their distribution, discrediting them as treason or support for terrorism, and dismissing them as mere juvenile rebellion. Yet the underground press not only still thrives, its ideas are more widely accepted today.
Many may already be aware that a subculture of radical resistance has always existed within Israel. What they may not know is how much fun we agitators have had, how close we have lived to the edge, and how completely we have rejected the mental environment of our time.
For us, all of Israeli society is like a rock: heavy and oppressive. We are the little insects that crawl around at night, conspiring to smash the rock – the desire to destroy it stays with us.
Sneaking into closed offices at night to make photocopies, handing out our leaflets and then disappearing, finishing a paragraph and insisting that a comrade read it right away, passing a police officer that you know is looking for the person who must have done what you just did, and smiling with congenial agreement at the “peace protest monitor” whose instructions you would ignore five seconds later. These are some of the warm memories of which this book is made…these are the feelings on each page. The flyers presented here are more than agit-prop – they are reflections of cooperation between individuals, of spontaneous collectivism, and of creative and intellectual stimulation. More than anything, they are expressions of a desire to create something new. The writers, designers, editors and distributors of the materials presented in this collection all shared in the thrill of this subversive creativity.
Things in Israel have changed somewhat and the isolation is not as complete as it was twenty – thirty years ago. This book is a celebration of youth, dreams, innocence and love. It is a celebration of the purity of purpose with which we hurled rocks at the sacred cows of our society.
Looking over the pamphlets, ‘zines, comic strips and poems, one might think that each generation had been passing the torch to the next. False. Generally speaking we have found ourselves “reinventing the wheel” with minimal input from our elders. At the same time there are elements of style, a certain ironic humor and issues of interest that carry over from one independent effort to another.
Not one of us has been solely responsible for creating the culture of resistance in Israel – it exists everywhere and at all times. Each person’s contribution has been to energize and give expression to our rebellion with the means at their disposal. Given the small size of our community of objectors, our means of inducing change have been quite limited. Until recently ‘zines and leaflets were all that we had. None of the organizations run by “responsible adults” approved of us, and we weren’t numerous enough to hold large demonstrations or rallies. There has also been a tendency to quarrel amongst ourselves over theory and practice.
What we have continued to develop is a culture of resistance. This is in contrast to the more moderate political forces who see themselves as a kind of “loyal opposition.”
From the start we realized that no one represented our views, our voices and discontents. We had to present them ourselves even though we were aware of the risk of distancing ourselves even more from the mainstream. Our activities have left in their wake greater political space for others who have since achieved a great deal in struggles for civil liberties, anti-Zionism, draft dodging and conscientious objection, unconditional solidarity with the Palestinians, animal rights and grassroots environmentalism. To this list we should add the popularity of both ‘zine culture and the punk/hardcore scene.
Today there is much movement and networking between the different groups working on these issues. Draft resisters, direct action environmental campaigners, supporters of Palestinian human rights, animal rights activists, anarchists, communists and radical Buddhists all interact with ease. This, too, is part of our legacy in that we have tried to ensure that the emphasis remains on personal relationships within the community. After all, it’s the same fucking struggle. Along the way we have proven how invalid the predominant patterns of thought are, and that you don’t need to be a Palestinian to be opposed to Zionism, nor do you need to belong to a party to organize a revolution.
This collection fairly represents most of what was going on during each time period within our milieu. The dates on each page refer to the year the material first appeared and the book is organized roughly in chronological order. Influences from outside of Israel are noticeable, as many of the graphics have been reproduced and appropriated; however this does not render them unoriginal. Printing them in Israel gives them a whole new context and significance; these influences have contributed to the shaping of the Israeli radical scene. Much of the material reflects personal opinion of its producers and does not necessarily represent any organization.
Production value, including grammar and punctuation, was never as important as getting the shit out and into peoples’ hands as quickly as possible. We have always thought that as we openly called for the divulging of official secrets, encouraged draft dodging, and agitated against our enemies from the state, our poor language skills would become less and less relevant. Maybe we was right.
Board of Directors
iT’s aLl LiEs
Content from It’s All Lies
Table of Contents
4. The Israeli Socialist Organization, “Matzpen”, 1967-1977
6. “Liberation News”, Black Front, 1973
8. “Freaky – Israel’s Best Selling Children’s Magazine – For Higher Times”, 1973
10. “Life=Shit”, Freaky, 1973.
12. “Alternative”, 1974
14. “The Way to Instant Housing is Right Down Your Street”, 1980
16 “Noga”, 1980-1992
18. “Zionist Quiz”, The Committee for Public Health, 1982
20. “Uniting the Ranks”, “Adventures of Mr X, and Indecisive Fighter Pilot” The Committee for Public Health, 1982
22. “Dear Mom! To Complete the Wall…”, “Who is a Hero?”, “Make Love-Not War”, The Committee for Public Health, 1982-1987
24. War Resisters’ International (Israeli Chapter), 1982-1994
26. Radical, Free, Left Wing Student Group, Anarchist student Group, 1987
28. The Sheministim Letter – Yesh Gvul, 1987-1990
30. Pacifist Youth, 1988
32. Mole, 1988-1989
33. “An Anarchist Night???”, 1989
34. “Yes That’s Right Punk is Dead!”, early 90s
35. “The Struggle for Animal Rights…”, 1990
36. “Culture War and Religious War”, 1991
38. “This is Danny”, Group of Resistors, early 90s
40. “It’s All Lies – This Is Not An Attempt to be Loved”, 1991-1993
42. “Necrophilia for Youth”, 1991-1994
44. The Committee Agianst Police Brutality, 1993-1996
46. “Essence”, 1993-1994
48. “From Sisyphus to Coca-Cola,” The Upper-Galilee Anarchist Brigade, early 90s
50. “Boycott Tradition – Make Every Day a Holiday”, The Upper-Galilee Anarchist Brigade, mid-90s
52. “The Spectacle – This Is An Attempt to Be Loved”, 1993
54. The Anarchist Movement, 1993
56. “Drug Free Youth Say No to ‘Al Sam”, mid-90s
58. “The War of Words”, 1996
60. “Israel is…” – “The Man and War Fair”, 1996
62. Voice of the Hoi Polloi, internet site, 1996-1998
64. “On the Other Hand”, Alternative Information Center, 1996-1999
66. “On Jahreit Candles and Conventional Weapons”, 1996
68. “Life Will Overcome”, 1996
70. Music and the Left Bank, 1990-1997
72. Anonymous for Animal Rights, 1990-1997
74. Green Action for Ecological Change, 1997-2000
76. “An Evening Against Political Terror”, Isra-Hell Collective, 1998.
78. “Be Realistic Demand the Impossible”, 1998
80. “Those Who Can Suffer More Pain, Not Inflict It Shall Win”, late 90s
82. “Buy Nothing Day”, 1998
84. No More Hiroshima, late 90s
86. “The Earth is in Danger”, poster, 1999
88. “I Am Your Spy”, a poster for Mordechau Vanunu, 1999
90. “The Simpsons”, 1996-1997
92. Coincidencepublications, 1998-2000
93. Do It Yourself
Also includes Autonomous Zone Multimedia CD-R with 13 minute movie, PDF files, and 28 songs from israeli hardcore bands from the Left Bank Club