This morning I came across an article in the SF Chronicle that I simply had to share with you all. Perfect for a GC post and a GC opinion!
Oakland museum cancels Palestinian kids’ war art – SF Chronicle
Israelis’ vs Palestinians! What a great way to have readers immediately take a side before they have even read the article. You have to ask yourself, am I able to read this article with an open mind or have I already applied a filter and already condemned one side or the other?
If you live in America, 70% would probably already be supporting the Israeli side. If you live in Europe (especially France) then 70% would already be supporting the Palestinian side.
Well, here is my quick take on the matter.
My first thought was that it was just the extremely powerful Israeli lobby shutting down anything that portrays Israel in a negative light. No business owner wants to tangle with the Anti-Defamation League if it can at all be avoided. In the US you can never ever criticize Israel or you will be in a heap of trouble.
My second thought was that the museum may have a good point in that there is no great reason to be placing a children’s space in such a highly controversial situation.
But then I read the following.
In 2004, art by Iraqi children hung on the museum’s walls. The pictures, made shortly after the U.S. invasion, included a picture of a helicopter shooting into a field of flowers.
Isn’t this extraordinary? The USA can be portrayed as aggressors in the USA but when it comes to prickly Israel the subject is taboo?
In San Francisco the Jewish community has The Contemporary Jewish Museum where they can display whatever they like. The Palestinians would be hard pressed to get a permit to display their art on the sidewalk.
Can you imagine what would happen if an opposing group tried to shut down a display at the CJM?
In doing my best to keep an open mind on a topic like this it seems quite obvious who is in the wrong here.
Israel is a classic case of the oppressed becoming the oppressors even down to children’s displays.
Now, that you have read the post you may be having very negative feelings towards Israel. But as usual you cannot simply condemn an entire group of people. It is my take that the oppressors are mostly the old vanguard, the geriatrics of Israel that by suppressing any and all criticism of Israel are actually making things worse for the Jewish state.
Not all Jewish people would agree with shutting down this display and I still highly support J-Street which it seems to be is made up of younger, highly energetic Jews. I would really like to hear their take on the art display. But even J-Street has internal divisions and sometimes the hard liners gain the upper hand. J Street’s Lose-Lose Situation.
Well that is all I really wanted to say in this post.