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Huge Hostage Display Goes Up in Culver City

The street-level art installation incorporates seven mirrors, each framed in the iconic red, allowing passersby to see their reflections amidst the powerful statement.
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December 19, 2023

If you live in Los Angeles, or anywhere in the United States, you’ve likely come across those ubiquitous “kidnapped” posters featuring Israeli hostages. They seem to be plastered everywhere—on walls, electric poles and trees. They are also often torn shortly after they go up.

Frustrated by this disheartening sight, Dershowitz and producer Jeremy Goldscheider decided to take action. The non-profit organization, in collaboration with the Combat Antisemitism Movement, decided to create impactful art that couldn’t be destroyed. Says Goldscheider, “We set out to create a KIDNAPPED poster so large and powerful that no-one, no matter how malicious they may be, could ever rip it down.”

Artists 4 Israel, which boasts artists from around the world, recently lost of one of its members, graffiti artist Inbar Haiman (known as Pink), who was kidnapped by Hamas. On December 17, her family was informed by the Israeli government that she had been murdered while in captivity. Haiman, 27, was abducted from the Nova music festival on October 7.

Goldscheider then approached Ari Mark, the CEO of Ample Entertainment in Los Angeles, and asked him to use his building in Culver City for the large-scale “KIDNAPPED” poster, showcasing all remaining hostages. Mark immediately agreed, fully aware of the potential backlash he might receive from haters.

The street-level art installation incorporates seven mirrors, each framed in the iconic red, allowing passersby to see their reflections amidst the powerful statement. Mark hopes that this installation will create a significant impact and draw attention to the situation.

Mark shared his weariness at witnessing countless posters being torn down throughout the city.

“I’m tired by the lack of interest in the remaining hostages,” he told the Journal. “I feel like Hollywood has been way too silent, and I feel abandoned. I was raised as a liberal Jew and I always spoke out for those communities who needed support. Jews in the entertainment industry like me, posted on social media and showed support for Black Lives Matter, the LBGTQ, about every single issue, but when it comes time to support Israel, suddenly people are keeping quiet or saying it’s complicated and don’t want to get involved?”

Mark emphasized that it’s not just non-Jews but also Jews in the industry who refrain from taking a stand and showing support for Israel due to fears of repercussions and being “eliminated.”

“It’s sad and it’s unforgivable,” he said. “I know we will face some backlash because of this, but I’m ready for it. A woman stopped to take pictures of the building, and a man who was passing by in his car started screaming slurs at her. I suspect there will be others who will have issue with this art, but I’m ready for it. We want to bring attention to the hostages and the fact that I have to defend and explain why I put on posters and want bring civilians back home, is so disgusting. Like many Jews in the U.S., it’s shocking for me to see how little support we have in this country. We can’t sleep at night knowing that there are hostages kept by Hamas, and that’s the least I can do to bring awareness.”

Dershowitz, who is married to an Israeli and has a brother-in-law serving in the IDF, shared that all materials for this project were generously donated by an anonymous supporter, with the primary artistic contributions coming from two artists. He expressed the hope that the project would inspire people to persist in putting up posters. He acknowledged the discouragement faced by many when they witness posters being torn down and emphasized the message for them not to be afraid but to continue displaying them, regardless of how many times they are removed.

“By using mirrors on the ground floor, we want each person to truly imagine what it would be like to be kidnapped by terrorists.” Craig Dershowitz

“By using mirrors on the ground floor, we want each person to truly imagine what it would be like to be kidnapped by terrorists,” said Dershowitz. “As you walk by, you will see yourself in the frame, see your face among the hostages. Maybe that empathy will help people stop tearing down these posters and start tearing down antisemitism.”

The world’s largest “KIDNAPPED” poster, featuring the portraits of 173 hostages and prominent text reading “Bring Them Home Now,” will be officially unveiled on December 20th at 4:20 p.m. in a ‘Moment of Reflection’ that will include hearing from the family of Farhan Alkali, a Bedouin Arab taken hostage by Hamas, and Baby Ariel, one of the influencers at the heart of the firestorm on TikTok surrounding the Israel-Gaza War.

Ample Entertainment is located at 11101 Washington Blvd Culver City, CA 90232.

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