Zeitgeist Sidebar: Controversial Gaza Children’s Exhibit Displayed

Along with the festival mentioned in the previous article, Zeitgeist will be showing “A Child’s View From Gaza,” an exhibit of art by Palestinan children, ages 8 to 14, part of a Middle East Children’s Alliance project, “Let the Children Play and Heal,” through Dec. 30.

MECA calls the exhibit “part of the historical record of the horror inflicted on the Palestinian people during Operation Cast Lead as experienced by Gaza’s children.”
The exhibit was scheduled to debut on Sept. 24 at the Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland, but it was cancelled after protests from Jewish groups.

According to j: the Jewish News Weekly of Northern California, the exhibit included images of Israeli bombs and tanks striking a mosque; a bomb labeled with the U.S. and Israeli flags landing in a bloody square with a dismembered body nearby; an Israeli soldier with a Star of David on his chest, threatening a mother and child with an assault rifle; and people on fire and bloody corpses in the street.

Rabbi James Brandt, CEO of the East Bay Federation, who has an art background, said “I find it challenging to believe that these children were not specifically directed and coaxed. [Israeli] soldiers do not wear Jewish stars, and the ambulances in Gaza do not say ‘Ambulance’ in English.”

On Sept. 24, the exhibit opened “at” the museum — in a courtyard out front. It was displayed at a different venue in Oakland through the end of November.

Both MECA and Zeitgeist tout the exhibit as having been “censored” by “pro-Israel forces.”

Broussard, upon hearing of the “censorship” of the exhibit, immediately made plans to bring it to New Orleans. Noting he doesn’t have pro-Israel individuals or foundations supporting Zeitgeist, “I have nothing to lose.”

He decided many years ago not to pursue grants for the center, precisely to give himself artistic freedom. The main thing is providing alternative voices a venue. “If there were a children’s exhibit for Israel that has been censored, I’d show it as well.”