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The Children of Gaza and MOCHA : Censored

GazaArt which represents the relations of people with others is political – even to represent the human form in some cultures is a political act. There is nothing wrong with art that is political, it is perfectly valid. Yet when art is censored for political reasons, we have a problem, Houston. The MECA “Child’s View from Gaza” exhibition, due to open on September 24, 2011 at the Oakland Museum of Children’s Art [MOCHA], has been cancelled due to political lobbying by zionist groups.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Article 19 states:

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

and further in Article 27:

(1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

while the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue affirms:

“Physically silencing criticism or dissent through arbitrary arrests and detention, enforced disappearance, harassment and intimidation is an old phenomenon … Such actions are often aimed not only to silence legitimate expression, but also to intimidate a population to push its members towards self-censorship. ”

Dr. Michael Siegel is a professor of community health sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health and he observes

‘In essence, MOCHA is using these Palestinian children as pawns in a political maneuver that delivers a clear message about what the public is or is not to believe. MOCHA is essentially contributing toward the suppression of the truth about the effects of the Israeli incursion into, and blockade of Gaza.’

The zionist lobbyists who harangued the MOCHA Board of Directors with traditional fallacious moaning about ‘it will be divisive‘, ‘anti-Israel incitement‘, ‘one-sided propaganda’, ‘anti-Jewish propaganda‘, ‘pink jihadist sympathizers‘, ‘they are HAMAS pictures’, ‘these are not done by small children‘, ‘MECA misled MOCHA’, ‘MOCHA didn’t know the content of the pictures’ and ‘the pictures are not suitable for young children’ do not represent a ‘general body of people’, but a sectarian putsch with a specific political agenda of justifying Israel’s crimes against humanity, and, contrary to the US constitution, suppressing political dissent that doesn’t present Israel in a pristine light. Is using the cancellation of Palestinian children’s art as a metaphorical human shield for apartheid, colonialism and war crimes really acceptable in the US ‘general community’?

From the MOCHA Facebook page:

On his own FB page, board member Randolf Belle said of those who pushed this campaign, “At first I thought they were just whiney, then it turned stupid”.

The ambit of zionists purveying hasbara is to NOT answer questions about their censurious actions, but to divert toward the fallacious propaganda used to persuade the MOCHA board to censor Palestinian children.

The initial hasbara meme of the ziolobby was ‘the exhibition will cause division’. Ironically, the Israel lobby’s strong-arming and subsequent banning of the exhibition is causing huge division, including within the Jewish community. Prepare for this contradictory outcome to be blamed on those who object to the outrageous censoring, while ziocultists claim innocence and propose that any criticism of them, ad nauseum, is ‘antisemitic’.

For example, Philip C says “A museum of children’s art is not a place for hateful, distorted polemics. Thanks for canceling the political art from Gaza.”

The second meme is that the pictures would be inappropriate for the very young children that patronize the Museum, a banal hypocritical argument. The MOCHA FAQ states:

Can I drop my child off at MOCHA? Do you offer daycare?

You must remain with your child at all times (the only exception is art camp). Not only is this a legal requirement, it is in keeping with our aim to provide valuable art experiences in which children and parents participate together.

Thus children visitimg MOCHA must be accompanied by their parents unless attending art camp. This FAQ requirement is at variance with the letter affirming cancellation of the Gaza children’s exhibition from the MOCHA Board.

Most children that visit MOCHA are between the ages of 5 and 9, and many children enter our gallery without the supervision of their parents.

Yet even for MOCHA’s Drop-in Art Program, “Children must be accompanied by a parent at all times.”

MECA, the curator of the exhibition advises “Due to the graphic nature of some of the images, adult supervision is advised.”

No complaints from the zionist lobby were presented to MOCHA when it exhibited drawings by children from Iraq of the conflict they endured. Should the children of Oakland who draw pictures of the violence they experience in their community be censored? Should any Museum or art gallery ban children from visiting in case they view a violent image? do the ziocensors prevent their children from watching the nightly news?

It’s worth bearing in mind the process of hasbarisation inculcated on Israel’s propaganderists is deliberately designed to create cognitive dissonance and irrationality, obvious to observers but opaque to the hasbarists.

‘And who says you can not facilitate analysis and criticism, while also encouraging students to reach the right conclusions?’

An intellectually bankrupt ‘teaching’ technique which is cognitively dissonant itself, this strategy would be laughable if it wasn’t aimed at producing cultists dedicated to minimising, excusing and disappearing alternate views which *are* directly based in experience of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Cults call out their cult ‘traitors’ – for cultists, loyalty to the cult is more important than human rights, justice and freedom for which cult dissenters advocate. Goldstone experienced this victimisation for crossing the zionist red line to find Israel had committed war crimes.

President Shimon Peres called Goldstone “a small man, devoid of any sense of justice.” Others in the government and media piled on, as did the so-called leaders of the “organized” American Jewish community. Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said Goldstone was “an evil, evil man,” “a traitor to the Jewish people,” the U.N.’s “token court Jew” and a “despicable human being.”

There’s a Hebrew word for what these people did to Richard Goldstone: They put him in cherem, meaning he was not just persona non grata in the eyes of our religious arbiters, he was totally cut off from the Jewish community. From the moment the report was released, he was treated like a leper — shunned, defamed, disowned — and the worst was yet to come.

In April 2010, the South African Zionist Federation reportedly threatened demonstrations outside the Sandton Synagogue if he showed up at his grandson’s bar mitzvah. Given the volatile political context, that was tantamount to banning the grandfather from the ceremony. No less an authority than Rabbi Moshe Kurtstag, head of the local rabbinic court, endorsed the idea that Goldstone should simply stay away, calling it “quite a sensible thing to avert all this unpleasantness.”

After an international outcry, Goldstone was able to attend the bar mitzvah. However, that hardly absolves Jews worldwide for the smear campaign against him. Appalling enough in human terms, I believe it should be condemned on speci?cally Jewish grounds. The most Jewishly observant and educated of Goldstone’s attackers surely knew that speaking ill of another human being (“hate speech” in current parlance) violates one of Judaism’s most sacrosanct laws, the prohibition against lashon hara (the Evil Tongue — i.e., gossip), which Maimonides de?ned as any utterance (true or not!) that might cause a person physical or monetary damage, or shame, humiliation, anguish or fear.

The Gaza children’s art confirms the findings of the Goldstone report, another target for delegitimisation by the Israel lobby. Nutanyahoo said early last year:

“We face three major strategic challenges. The Iranian nuclear program, rockets aimed at our civilians and Goldstone.”

The report of the UN Fact-finding Mission into Israel’s Operation Cast Lead is on the UN General Assembly agenda this month.

Crayonophobia

Pedophobia is a fear of children, an appropriate term for people who are attempting to censor Palestinian children. Or should it be crayonophobia? The zionist lobbyists are afraid of what Palestinian children have to say with their art. They are afraid of the truth that these children have seen with their own eyes, heard with their own ears. The truth is a powerful weapon against the hideous injustice of the Israeli occupation, apartheid and colonialism.

Later in 2010, Nutanyahoo expanded the threat list to Israel to include an ongoing threat to its legitimacy ‘as anti-Semitism had warped into criticism of the Jewish state’, a classically topsy turvy explication of Zionist reality.

GazaIn line with current Reut Institute strategy which reveals how criticism of Israel is to be dealt with, between redlines and bluelines, zionists wage war on US democracy in an obscene attempt to stifle criticism of Israel on the MOCHA facebook wall.

Who would think that so many grown adults (?) would be terrified of what children think and create? These art censors are into control – of all our lives, of all our children. Forget the US constitution, free speech and parents’ rights, zionists know best what’s good for you and yours, with an underlying assumption that what is good for Israel, assuming that political censorship IS good for Israel, is good for the US. While many of the facebook page posters in favour of showing the exhibit are Jewish, the zionist art censors claim to represent the interests of ‘the Jewish community.’

This issue *is* about antisemitism – that of political zionist bigots who think they speak on behalf of everyone, including all Jews, that zionists have a right to determine what everyone sees about Israel, whilst trampling upon Palestinian children’s freedom of expression to do it. Unfortunately, self-appointed art censors operating from political zionist lobby groups help fan real antisemitism.

Political zionism was proposed by Herzl, who based this 19th century nationalist ideology on a racist assumption that Jews create antisemitism wherever they go. In Der Judenstaat he writes:

“The Jewish question persists wherever Jews live in appreciable numbers. Wherever it does not exist, it is brought in together with Jewish immigrants. We are naturally drawn into those places where we are not persecuted, and our appearance there gives rise to persecution. This is the case, and will inevitably be so, everywhere, even in highly civilised countries—see, for instance, France—so long as the Jewish question is not solved on the political level. The unfortunate Jews are now carrying the seeds of anti-Semitism into England; they have already introduced it into America.”

Yet Jews should be able to feel safe anywhere. Herzl had a plan for antisemitism, that the ‘the anti-Semites will become our most loyal friends, the anti-Semite nations will become our allies.’

Ziocultists continue in Herzl’s tradition, attempting to manufacture antisemitism where it doesn’t exist. And those who oppose zionism might also be aware not to play into zionist stereotypes.

This dialogue about the mechanism of zionist mythology is pertinent:

Emma Rosenthal: If depicting the zionist lobby as powerful and financial is anti-semitic, then they need to stop doing that!!! Anti-zionists need to stop doing it too, because it makes one little community group (the JCRC) seem much more powerful than it is, when it tells a museum it needs to shut down an exhibit.

Emma Rosenthal: Clarification, the zio lobby needs to stop presenting itself as powerful and financial.

Becky Dent: But it is powerful and financial. :(

Sylvia Posadas Yet the zio lobby is geared to the fomentation of antisemitism since Herzl.

Emma Rosenthal: Yes, but not so powerful that anytime anyone complains, it needs to be heeded. That just feeds the power. and their power certainly isn’t magical. It is powerful within a system of power. Any power the zio lobby has is due to inherent inequalities within the already existing amerikan capitalist system.

There have been many examples of small organizations like this museum, refusing to be told what to do by groups like the JCRC and Standonus, and they have survived. When people have been defeated by this power block, it’s because targeted organizations buckled down to the pressure of these groups and forgot their core constituency.

It gets to the point, when there are 3 phone calls from “the jewish community” saying something is anti-semitic, it is interpreted that the powerful lobby has descended, when all it is is 3 phone calls. The anti-zionist jewish lobby doesn’t have the same mystique. (we also don’t have the money and power) but who’s to say those 3 callers do either.

I asked Maxine Waters when she would come out with a statement of real support for palestine. She told me “AIPAC is too powerful”. It’s an excuse. she’s untouchable. They may be able to make life a bit more difficult for her, but there’s no way she could be defeated in her district, no matter how they draw the districting lines. Truth is, she doesn’t want to take them on because she might want other things for her district. It ends up being an excuse.

Sylvia Posadas: The ‘powerful mystique lobby’ can also serve as cover for hegemonic power too – the lobby can be blamed when policies are aiming for outcomes with increased defence spending to funnel into congressional districts etc.

Why would a polly cut military spending and risk his/her seat by job losses in defence industries in their district = the tension from Israeli destabilisation, primed by the lobby, gives excellent cover.

In the end, the ‘powerful mystique’ doesn’t serve ordinary people, it serves an elite which also can be antisemitic – while Jews are cast as the all powerful money folks, the dynastic and nouveau elites can use them as cover also. So folks end up diverting their antipathy towards Jews – directed by the ziolobby and the ruling elite to do so.

Emma Rosenthal: Syl’s point is excellent. the lobby, on the national level merely reinforces the MIC and that whole trajectory of U.S. foreign policy. Where they have real power is in the way they persuade cultural organizations, labor unions, educational facilities, etc. to marginalize and blacklist members, and to cancel events. At this level, it IS about mystique. If the JCRC and Stand on us really represented so many people, we’d actually have a deluge of resistance to our resistance. But as it is, there are only 3-4 zionist trolls on this wall, spreading lies and half truths, with really bad unsubstantiated arguments.

It is at the point where they claim they have grassroots support where we need to stand our ground and challenge and demystifying them.

Sylvia Posadas If folks followed the REAL money, they would know it resides in the Pentagon, with its $1.2 trillion which gets recycled majorly back to US defence corporations, whose shareholders reap unbelievable profits from maintaining conflicts around the globe. Not forgetting big pharma, oil, the prison industrial complex, intelsec, all benefit from maintaining militarisation globally.

Emma Rosenthal: I’m very aware of that power, but for example, when I came under attack w/in my union, and a flurry of letters came to the union president for work I was doing on BDS, any letter that started with “as a jewish person i…” was categorized as being against BDS. They didn’t even bother to read the next sentence, which often went on to say something about support for Palestinians. The zio lobby perpetuates the idea that they represent most jews, when they don’t even represent most zionist jews.

Sylvia Posadas: The other con where the ziolobby and US imperialists/white supremacists do Jews a big disfavour is in the maintenance of the myth of the aid to Israel, which US people often blame Israel for. In reality nearly ALL the milaid supplied to Israel is recycled back to teh US – first off, 75% has to be spent on US defence product, the other 25% goes to Israeli defence corps, most of whom are floated on the NASDAQ with majority US capitalist shareholders.

The US runs the same scam throughout the ME and wherever else it wants to retain tabs on its tributaries and vassals.

Emma Rosenthal: It is a powerful lobby that gets liberal jews to demand that a small local museum practice censorship!!! (who would have thought that was even remotely possible!!??)

Of course zionism serves the ruling class by means of confusing imperialism, censorship, settler colonialism and militarism with social justice and human rights.

Sylvia Posadas: OK, so how can we better explicate this relationship so at least ordinary folks can stop being conned by really powerful large predators?

Zero tolerance for racism, bigotry, elitism, ableism, and sexism has to be one way where ordinary folks do have a chance to participate in taking control.

Emma Rosenthal: Well the fact that it is confusing is of course part of its brilliance.

Sylvia Posadas: Playing on people’s hopes and fears – the American scream, anyone can be president, fear the other, work till you drop, taxes are bad (even though they might improve most people’s lot) they want to take what we have …. we don’t want to give back to those from whom we have taken …

Emma Rosenthal: And the fact that in amerikkka it is worse to be called a racist (including anti-semitic) than it is to actually BE racist (such as closing down a children’s art museum because some people think palestinian children’s art is terrorism.)

I’m well aware of the semantics of semitism. http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2004/720/op63.htm – that has nothing to do with it. I happen to disagree with the zionist lobby, which isn’t exclusively a jewish lobby. many jews don’t support the lobby, and many many many non-jews are part of the lobby. Jewish is an ethnic/religious/cultural group. Zionism is a political ideology, that one can agree to or disagree with.

The original settlers of the “new world” used much of that same rhetoric and biblical reference in their conquest. These were, in many ways, the first zionists and they weren’t jews, and they didn’t settle in historic palestine. their zion was the region that is now the continental U.S.A. It wasn’t jews who named Zion national Park. It was Mormons.

Most zionists today are not jewish. They are christian zionists.

I won’t conflate zionist with jewish. There are too many exceptions to that rule, including both anti-zionist jews, and non-jewish zionists. For example, one is supposed to imagine that Fatima Husseni is a zionist, but not jewish. right? and in the context of this wall, is definitely part of the zionist lobby. on the other hand, I’m clearly NOT part of the zionist lobby. But I’m jewish. (in rw, not just on fb!) so even here, with only a few zionists posting, most of the jews in this discussion are anti-zionists and support the exhibit, and not all the zionists who oppose the exhibit, are jews. so how could we even begin to assume that zionist means jewish. it clearly does not.

GazaPolitical zionist lobby groups – JCRC, JDEF, JCPA and Stand With Us – all worked to have the exhibit cancelled.

On the MOCHA page, David M says : “We don’t want our children and other people’s children exposed to it. The East Bay JCRC worked very hard to get this exhibit stopped.” Fatima H says “The MOCHA decisons were made locally, by grass roots peace activists working hand in hand with the museum.”

David M again: “I am simply providing some information about why we did that and why the museum board listened to us. It is not policing adult or teen age thought to be concerned about what children as young as two are exposed to.”

David M: “Do you think there would be an exhibit from WW II showing how kids felt about the Japanese? Or from the Korean War showing how kids felt about the Chinese? Or one showing how kids in India feel about terror attacks originating in Pakistan? I would not want any of those exhibits shown.”

Slurs against BDS and JVP (Jewish Voice for Peace):

David M: “We are trying to respond to the BDS campaign, which is very well funded and organized. We can’t match the funding and numbers but we can improve our ability to respond to attacks like these. We have a lot of work to do. JVP is very good.”

And slurs against MECA:

David M: “Parents don’t take their children to the museum or approve their going on field trips so MECA assistants can indoctrinate them with their extreme political ideas.”

David M: “I agree with MECA about the therapeutic benefits of art expression for children. They have picked 50 out of many pictures and are using them for propaganda purposes. That is fine with me as long as they show them somewhere other than this small museum.”

Allen S: “is this show about art or to broadcast a praticular mono-selective ageda with exculdes the atrocities of both sides of the conflict.?”

The self-appointed censors cast blame and assert antisemitism:

David M: “Right. Those who don’t see things your way must be inferior to you.”

David M: “One issue is their lack of truth in the interest of attacking Jews. Another is the inappropriate audience.”

David M: “That is not a projection. It is a guess. Rhetoric like that here tends to lead to action.”

David M: “The virtual attacks on the museum’s Facebook wall will probably lead to physical attacks.”

David M: “When people mad about this say Zionists, they mean Jews. It was leading Jewish organizations which dealt with this. I am sure our overseas visitors do not understand how the US Jewish community works.”

David M: “The intended effect of the exhibit is important. These are very sensitive issues. There are communal tensions and people get attacked.”

David M: “The kind of things you folks say inspire violence.”

David M: “I would not approve of an art exhibit which aroused anger against Muslims period; whether it was shown to children or not, whether the art was created by children or not.”

Aleksandra F: “I dare you to show me one Arab in Gaza that wants to get along with the Jews instead of slitting Jews’ throats! Don’t give me this “peaceful” crap! ”

Aleksandra F: “Rebut my content – like I said, label me what you will – it stiil doesn’t change the fact that there are no peaceful “Gazans” whatever that may mean. Aza has always been Jewish land and we will get it back. Time to end Arab occupation of Jewish land and take back the language from lowlifes like yourself ! I have no patience for those who defend terrorists.”

These “arguments” are more transparent excuses which avoid dealing with the heinous immorality of art censorship for political reasons and recalling what sort of tyrannical regimes practise political censorship.

In Studies on Hysteria, Freud pinpoints the ‘rationale’ of the hysteric for censorship:

“We are very often astonished,” he writes, “to realize in what a mutilated state all the ideas and scenes emerged which we extracted from the patient by procedure of pressing. Precisely the essential elements of the picture were missing [...] I will give one or two examples of the way in which a censoring of this kind operates . . .” (1895b, p. 281-282). He then shows that what is censored is what appears to the patient to be blameworthy, shameful, and inadmissible. In a letter to Wilhelm Fleiss (December 22, 1897, in 1950a) he compares this psychic work to the censorship that the czarist regime imposed on Russian newspapers at the time: “Words, sentences and whole paragraphs are blacked out, with the result that the remainder is unintelligible” (1950a, p. 240).

GazaThe art burners blame the artists and those who support them for ‘divisiveness’ – they play the same game as the apartheid entity they protect – blame the victim. One of the real divisions is that there is a substantial body of medical evidence confirming the expression of art by traumatised Gazan children and its display is psychologically healing for them. These children are facing fears which are ever-present in reality for them. On the other side of the ‘divide’ are those who wish to censor the creative expression of these children. These suppressors across the ocean do not have to face daily bombings, death, white phosphorus, mutilation, deprivation and occupation. Neither can they bear to be reminded of them. In censoring these children, they enmesh themselves in more guilt.

The self-appointed gatekeepers can’t allow the whole picture to be presented. They attempt to ensure that essential pieces of the picture of Israel’s crimes against humanity and war crimes are deleted perhaps lest they are forced to acknowledge that they, and the US, are fully complicit with those crimes. At the least they follow the dictates of Israel’s Reut Institute current hasbara strategy, including the strategic conflation of Israel with zionism and all Jews.

Over the past year, and especially following Reut’s study visit to the Bay Area in February, it has become clear that the response to the assault on Israel’s legitimacy must begin with internal Jewish deliberation: we have to broaden our tent, as well as establish red-lines; we have to work together across the political spectrum ,with the Government of Israel and with both establishment and non-establishment groups; and we have to transform the education on Israel.

the Reut Institute has been committed to responding to the challenge of the de-legitimization of Israel since the fall of 2008. Our team, led by Eran Shayshon,
has worked to catalyze an effective response to this challenge in Jewish communities including in London, Orange County and the Bay Area, as well as in the Government of
Israel , as well as in the Government of Israel. Reut’s conclusions are summarized in a trilogy on de-legitimization (each can be skimmed in 10-15 min through the bold sentences): Building a Political Firewall Against Israel’s De-Legitimization (click here); The Gaza Flotilla – The Collapse of Israel’s Political Fire Wall (click here); and London as a Case Study (click here). In
addition, we published a document on the BDS movement (click here), which exposed its de-legitimizing character. This paper informed the following YouTube clip produced by StandWithUs (click here).

More projection of blame is uncovered by reviewing Stand With Us’s actual violent acts. Were these ziolobbyists concerned about young children witnessing them? Robin McClaren relates her personal experience with SWU:

I was not going to relate this story here because the subject is a CHILDREN’S art exhibit being cancelled. But since YOU brought up “violence” and the folks at Stand With US were a major force behind getting this exhibit cancelled I am going to share my very first up close and personal experience with those folks. It was in 2007 at the Beverly Hills Library. Women in Black were hosting Hedy Epstein, a Holocaust survivor in her 80s. The room was not large. My 16 year old daughter and I were sitting directly in front of a row of Stand With Us people. The entire time Hedy was speaking the people right behind us with loudly muttering in the FOULEST language possible. There were more of these SWU folks at the back of the room. I turned around several times to ask them to please keep their voices down and not speak like that within hearing distance of my daughter. I was told to “F–k off” along with the nastiest superlatives for the female anatomy in the English vocabulary. Immediately when Hedy finished talking all hell broke loose. Shouting, jumping up and a woman in the back had to be escorted out by library security for SHOUTING and cussing about Muslims. I was SO glad security was in place because it was SCARY.

Stand With Us also threatened violence in Seattle should the bus ads run. NO ONE ELSE did this, SWU did.

So you brought it up Mr. Marshak, not one single person here has threatened “violence” OR tried to incite it and on the contrary Zissa was asked to COOL HER JETS. But here you come saying “words lead to actions”. I suggest you take care of your own constituency before you start projecting that anyone commenting here negatively about this censorship be accused of having their words “probably lead to violence”.

Medical experts say it is beneficial for Palestinian children to show their art, while zionists cynically claim that exhibiting their art is ‘abuse of the pain of Palestinian children for political ends’. Ziocultists in fact propose such abuse by denying these children an audience, by bantustanning, corralling off these childrens’ expression even though the MOCHA have shown the works of other children from other regions of conflict, including Iraq.

The reaction of Gaza’s children to their silencing is immensely poignant:

“He was extremely disappointed, and the other children were obviously shocked and sad as well … It’s upsetting to them to hear that a children’s art museum across the world decided that their personal [narratives] are offensive, and then silenced their voices and artwork. When you hear about an art museum that has violated its own mission to censor children’s artwork and children’s artistic expression, it’s extremely disappointing.”

The zionist lobby has a track record for closing down Palestinian and even Jewish art which challenges Israeli propaganda.

Art critics and visitors to the museum were impressed. Some of the museum’s powerful backers were not. They included Chicago’s Jewish federation, which contributes $700,000 a year, or 10% percent, of the Spertus’ operating budget, and whose membership contributed generously to Spertus’ new, $55 million home.”

Those looking at the exhibit in the spirit of Spertus—to learn—did so. Those looking at it through politically motivated lenses preferred to find the exhibit objectionable. In the end, the politically motivated won. The exhibit was censored.

How to make ‘peace’ with zionist lobby groups which can’t allow children to express themselves? If the survival of Israel depends on censoring Palestinian children’s art, then Israel truly is doomed.

Truth cannot be divided, truth promotes understanding and resolution of conflict. The creative expressions of children who suffer oppression directly are essential reflections of their world and their lives. To censor Palestinian children because it makes those who condone and perpetuate injustice toward them feel uncomfortable is immoral. Unfortunately, this success on the part of the vigilante art censors may only encourage them to find other ways to suppress expression by victims of Israel’s crimes. Democracy thrives on open dissent, not political censorship of art the anti-democratic Israel lobby regards as inconveniently violent, ‘divisive’, ‘unsuitable for young children’ and slanders as ‘untruthful’. The MOCHA board must take a stand against censorship at the behest of the zionist lobby and reverse their decision.

The famous words of Frank Zappa: “I think you should leave it up to the parents, bec not all parents want to keep their children totally ignorant.”

From Stephen King: “What I tell the kids is, don’t get mad, get even. Run, don’t walk, to the first library or bookstore you can find and read what they are trying to keep out of your eyes because that is exactly what you need to know.”

And from Jin: “A curse on those who promote and capitulate to the evil of political censorship, you open the door to hell just a little wider”.

Related Links

“A Child’s View From Gaza” – see more of the pictures from the Child’s View from Gaza exhibition
The Survival and Art of the Children of Gaza
What the zionist lobby is NOT trying to limit access to young children

And this:

Petitions: Show art by all children, including Palestinians
US museum cancels Gaza children’s art exhibition after pro-Israel groups’ pressure
The MOCHA board released a second weasily, cowardly statement confirming they are capitulating to the artburners, complicit with yet another crime against Palestinian children – the stench-filled evil of political censorship, removing reference to those who lobbied them.
To read people’s responses to it, go here
Give MOCHA a review
See some banned Palestinian children’s art
One of the ziolobby groups involved in the censorship of the art exhibition, the East Bay Jewish Federation, gloats about their achievement on twitter.
Write @MOCHAorg to Save @MECAForPeace Gaza Children’s Art Exhibit.
The drawings that terrified the the San Francisco Jewish Community Relations Council
Empathy Is A Wave: The Banning of Palestinian Children’s Art
“Censorship in the United States is an old pastime and new hobby of the feebleminded.” – Adler & Robin Books
Psychological trauma in Palestine

Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue

22. The right to freedom of opinion and expression is as much a fundamental right on its own accord as it is an “enabler” of other rights, including economic, social and cultural rights, such as the right to education and the right to take part in cultural life and to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications, as well as civil and political rights, such as the rights to freedom of association and assembly.

However, the Special Rapporteur deems it appropriate to reiterate that any limitation to the right to freedom of expression must pass the following three-part, cumulative test:
(a) It must be provided by law, which is clear and accessible to everyone
(principles of predictability and transparency); and
(b) It must pursue one of the purposes set out in article 19, paragraph 3, of the
Covenant, namely (i) to protect the rights or reputations of others, or (ii) to protect national
security or of public order, or of public health or morals (principle of legitimacy); and
(c) It must be proven as necessary and the least restrictive means required to
achieve the purported aim (principles of necessity and proportionality).
Moreover, any legislation restricting the right to freedom of expression must be applied by
a body which is independent of any political, commercial, or other unwarranted influences
in a manner that is neither arbitrary nor discriminatory, and with adequate safeguards
against abuse, including the possibility of challenge and remedy against its abusive
application.
25. As such, legitimate types of information which may be restricted include child
pornography (to protect the rights of children), hate speech (to protect the rights of affected
communities), defamation (to protect the rights and reputation of others against
unwarranted attacks), direct and public incitement to commit genocide (to protect the rights
of others), and advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement
to discrimination, hostility or violence (to protect the rights of others, such as the right to
life).

Sign National Letter to Protest Closing of Gaza Children’s Art Exhibition in Oakland
Suffer the Children: MOCHA Cracks Under Anti-Exhibit Lobby
JWeekly hasbara Sides divided after children’s museum in Oakland cancels art show by Gaza kids

THE CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD

Participation rights: having an active voice

Article 12 (Respect for the views of the child): When adults are making decisions that affect children,
children have the right to say what they think should happen and have their opinions taken into account.
Article 13 (Freedom of expression): Children have the right to get and share information, as long as the
information is not damaging to them or others. In exercising the right to freedom of expression, children
have the responsibility to also respect the rights, freedoms and reputations of others. The freedom of
expression includes the right to share information in any way they choose, including by talking, drawing or
writing.

All countries in the world have ratified the UNCRC except the US and Somalia which is intending to ratify.

Lawfare is a Reut Institute tactic: Lawsuit Details Depth of Berkeley Jewish Student Harassment
Similar censorship campaign in the UK : PSC target primary kids in lit festival : Board of Deputies’ chief executive Jon Benjamin said: “Given the PSC’s recent activity, we find it extremely troubling that this local branch is now directing its highly political agenda to primary school children.”
Is Israel an Apartheid State?

My letter to the MOCHA Board:

I’m dismayed that the MOCHA Board crumbled to the evil of political censorship from those political lobby groups who only realised they had a concern about your exhibitions when it came to exhibiting Gazan children’s art.

These traumatised children’s creative expression of their suffering has been identified as a healing for them from the horrors of war – a powerful message for us all. Their art stands alone as a testament to hope – that when noone wants to listen, one can delve into one’s own creative reservoirs for sustenance. Yet there are those who still wish to deny them an audience, because what these children have to say is deeply uncomfortable to their colonisers.

Let’s close the dark door which some would have us open that unleashes further travesties. Please reconsider, take courage as these Gazan children have to reach out with their art, and search within your own creative resources for sustenance to resist opening that door – these children of all children, living in the world’s largest open air prison, under siege now for 1,553 days, deserve to be heard without gatekeepers suppressing and demonising them and their creative expression abroad even as they are oppressed, rendered voiceless and inconsequential in Gaza under Occupation. You can be these children’s link to hope. You can make a difference to their impoverished lives against those who find them an embarrassment or would prefer they did not exist at all.

UPDATE 21/9/11

Some within the fold are catching on : Group urges rabbis to use the civil pulpit

It was a young Jewish San Franciscan that was allegedly punched when she interrupted a speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year. In Berkeley, Rabbi Michael Lerner has had his home vandalized several times with graffiti branding him a supporter of terrorism. The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival sparked furor and lost some funding over its decision to put on a program featuring a film about Rachel Corrie, the activist killed by an Israeli army bulldozer in the West Bank, and an appearance by her mother. And just last week, in Oakland, an exhibition of Palestinian children’s art was canceled because the subject proved too controversia

Odd hasbara against Sabeel
Doug Minkler: Most Censored Art

During my twenty-seven years of poster-making, no piece that I have created has been censored more than Stop US Aid to Israel. When I made the poster in 1988, it was displayed restaurants, grocery stores and bakeries all over Berkeley. Within two weeks from the time of posting, all the posters had been removed. The merchants were told, in no uncertain terms, by Israeli supporters “show this poster here and your business will suffer.”

Pro-Israel Censorship Hurts Us All ‘Some weeks later I saw my father sitting, stony faced. He turned to me and whispered: “I just got a call from Michael. My show has been canceled.” Michael, it transpired, had been visited by a group from the Sacramento Jewish community. Their message: “If you show Bisharat’s art, we will boycott your gallery and close you down.”
Berkeley Filmmakers Challenge Censorship in Jewish Community
Iraqi Children Depict “Operation Iraqi Freedom” Gallery here
War in Irak seen by the Iraki children

It is my hope that many people will see these images to better understand that there are no ‘smart bombs.’ Children and innocents have been killed, crippled, maimed and orphaned by this war. War is not a football game. There are no winners. War represents the worst of human nature.

1 comment to The Children of Gaza and MOCHA : Censored

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