On September 8th, a children’s museum in Oakland, California, canceled an exhibit of drawings by children from the Gaza Strip.
The heart-breaking drawings captured the oppression and brutality of life under Israel’s economic blockade and military attacks. But under pressure from pro-Israel groups in the community, the Museum of Children’s Art (MOCHA) pulled the plug.
The campaign to censor the exhibit had the support of major pro-Israeli organizations in the California Bay Area. Key Jewish American organizations in the community even boasted of their success in blocking the Gaza children’s art exhibit.
The Jewish Federation of the East Bay publicly bragged about their success via twitter:
Even worse, the museum’s board of directors released a statement that defended rather than apologized for their censorship. Board Chair Hilmon Sorey called the drawings “graphically violent and sensitive works,” and he cited the museum’s lack of policy towards such content as the reason for the exhibit’s cancellation.
But these concerns did not stop the museum from displaying the art of Iraqi children a few years earlier.
Americans need to know about the effects of our foreign policy in the Middle East. Our tax dollars fund the very Israeli military that forces nearly 4 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to live under military occupation.
If there is any silver lining to the pro-Israel lobby’s campaign, it is the coverage it received on NPR and elsewhere. The organization that brought us the exhibit — the Middle East Children’s Alliance – deserves our thanks.
Click here to tell the Museum of Children’s Art that Gaza’s victims should not be censored. These children deserve the chance to have their voices heard.
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Freedom Forward Campaigner