A collection of artwork created by children in Gaza immediately after Israel’s attacks in the winter of 2008-09 (Operation Cast Lead) will be shown at Pennsylvania’s Swarthmore college in April.
As I reported back in September for The Electronic Intifada, the exhibiton — entitled “A Child’s View From Gaza” — was slated to show at the Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland (MOCHA) on 8 September but was canceled at the last minute after intense intimidation from local and national Israel lobby groups.
The Berkeley-based Middle East Children’s Alliance, which sponsored and helped curate the exhibition, was finally able to secure an alternative gallery space (around the corner from MOCHA) where the artwork was displayed through November. Because of the publicity that this outrageous censorship effort generated, the gallery attracted hundreds of visitors — and the attention of other venues across the US and across the world who want to show the exhibition.
The Phoenix, Swarthmore’s newspaper, reported on 2 February that the exhibition is being co-spondored by Students for Peace and Justice in Palestine (SPJP). The article added:
Daniel Hirschel-Burns ’14, a Jew and active member of SPJP, does not understand how anyone could have blocked the exhibit. He said that the images were “powerful” and “far more disturbing” than he could have imagined.
“To not feel anything after seeing these pictures, and to think that they are purely a political statement, I think, is missing the point. These are just children and they suffered terribly,” he said. “Even if you are pro-Israel and you believe that Operation Cast Lead was a strategic move that Israel had to make, not allowing the suffering of these innocent children to be exhibited is pretty incomprehensible.”
The exhibition opens at Swarthmore on 6 April.