Protesters disrupted a talk at New York’s Jewish Museum last night to demonstrate against a current exhibition by Israeli artist Zoya Cherkassky, who is showing drawings about the October 7 Hamas attack.

The talk was between director James Snyder and Cherkassky. Protestors who said they were “anti-Zionist Jews” claimed that Cherkassky’s exhibition was “imperial propaganda” and that the museum’s programming was a means to “manufacture consent for genocide.”

Cherkassky’s show, which opened in December and runs through mid-March, features 12 works on paper that depict the aftermath of the October 7 Hamas attack in Israel. Around 1,200 people were killed in the attack, and more than 200 hostages were taken.

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A video posted to Instagram by the group Writers Against the War on Gaza appears to capture Monday’s protest, during which the demonstrators said, speaking in unison, “As cultural workers, as anti-Zionist Jews of conscience, as New York City residents, we implore you to confront the reality.”

In the video, security guards can then be seen struggling to remove activists mid-chant. Audience members can be heard shouting “antisemite” at the protestors, booing, and tearing scripts from activists’ hands. Some attendees applaud after the protestors are removed.

Flyers distributed in the talk’s auditorium featured a cartoon titled The Zionist Artist at Work (2024), depicting an artist painting a missile. Text on the leaflet’s back page further condemned the institution’s leadership, claiming the museum “propagates the Zionist tropes and IOF (Israel Occupation Forces) propaganda upon which the current genocide of Palestinians hinges.”

The Jewish Museum and Cherkassky did not immediately respond to ARTnews’s requests for comment.

The protest was the latest in a series of pro-Palestine demonstrations in New York, with ones held inside the Museum of Modern Art and in front of the Brooklyn Museum over the weekend. Both protests intended to raise awareness for the killing of around 28,000 Gazans since October 7, according to the local health ministry.

Meanwhile, an open letter signed by more than 100 employees from institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum is circulating. That letter criticizes their workplaces for a “disgraceful silence” regarding the war in Gaza.

According to Hyperallergic, one employee resigned over the Cherkassky exhibition at the Jewish Museum. Hyperallergic reported that that employee was present at the demonstration, and that he called the installation “a pro-war show.” ARTnews could not independently confirm this.

Cherkassky, in a separate interview, has defended the museum’s interest in showing the “Israeli perspective.”

The Jewish Museum is among the few institutions based in New York to have publicly responded to the Hamas attack. On October 8, the museum issued a statement saying that it “condemns the violent terrorist assaults by Hamas against Israeli citizens” and that its staff “stand[s] with the people of Israel.”

Cherkassky was among those who signed an open letter in Erev Rav written as a response to another open letter published by Artforum that called for a ceasefire in Gaza and initially did not mention the October 7 Hamas attack; the Erev Rav letter was critical of this omission. When Cherkassky posted to Instagram that she had signed the Erev Rav letter, she referred to the other letter’s signatories as “ignorant bitches who have no clue about what is going on.”