On Thursday, September 8, 2011, MECA received the disturbing news that the Museum of Children’s Art (MOCHA) in Oakland decided to cancel “A Child’s View From Gaza,” an exhibit of Palestinian children’s art.
After months of planning and establishing a close partnership with the museum, we were saddened to learn that the children of Gaza would be denied the opportunity to share their experiences, art, and creativity with the Bay Area community. For 23 years, MECA has been a witness to how pro-Israel organizations can intimidate groups and individuals who try to present the reality and perspectives of Palestinians.
When I asked the MOCHA’s Board President Hilmon Sorey, with whom we met on Thursday, “Who wins?” he could not provide an answer. I said, “The museum certainly doesn’t win. I told him the museum doesn’t win. MECA doesn’t win. The people of the Bay Area don’t win either. It is the children in Gaza, who have lost so much already, who lose again.”
The only winners here are those who are supporters of Israeli occupation and brutality; who continue to spend millions of dollars censoring any criticism of Israel, and in this instance have succeeded to silence the voices of children who live every day under military siege and occupation.
All of us at MECA understand all too well the enormous pressure that the museum came under from pro-Israel groups. But we are deeply disappointed by this decision, and I ask you to join us in expressing our concern and urging the museum to reverse its decision.
Please send an email today to the Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland urging them to reconsider and support your right to see and hear the message of the children of Gaza.
Middle East Children’s Alliance
For more information: Read MECA’s Press Release
A video showing some of the paintings in “A Child’s View From Gaza”