Click here to see some more of the images that were part of an exhibit of art by Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip. The images were supposed to be shown at the Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland, but the show, entitled A Child’s View from Gaza, was cancelled on September 8.
The Berkeley-based Middle East Children’s Alliance stated in a news release that “there was a concerted effort by pro-Israel organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area to pressure the museum to reverse its decision to display Palestinian children’s art.”
The group’s executive director, Barbara Lubin, described the move as censorship. “We understand all too well the enormous pressure that the museum came under. But who wins? The museum doesn’t win. MECA doesn’t win. The people of the Bay Area don’t win. Our basic constitutional freedom of speech loses. The children in Gaza lose.”
The free exhibit was going to open on September 24. About 1.6 million people live in the Gaza Strip, which is a 41-kilometre stretch of land between Israel and Egypt. It’s ruled by Hamas.
Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, but continues to control the airspace and sea access. In 2008, Israel attacked Gaza in response to rockets being fired into southern Israel. Israel also maintains a blockade, which was declared “legal” by a recent United Nations commission.