A London hospital was compelled to take down a display of artwork created by Palestinian schoolchildren- from Gaza- after complaints raised by UK Lawyers for Israel on behalf of “vulnerable” patients, reports Alarabinuk.
A display of decorated plates, along with illustrations of their significance, was reportedly designed by kids at two UNWRA schools in Gaza. Chelsea & Westminster Community Hospital school children painted the designs on the plates and displayed them in the “Crossing Borders – a Festival of Plates” exhibit by the outpatient department entrance. The caption for one of the display plates was: “The olive branch is the symbol of peace and is used to express the wish for an independent Palestinian state.”
UK Lawyers For Israel (UKLFI), which filed a complaint with the hospital regarding the exhibition, claimed that the young students at the two schools involved; Beit Lahia Girls’ School and Jabalia Prep Boys’ School, had been taught with Hamas ideology embedded within their curriculum.
The display in the lobby of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital left some patients feeling “vulnerable, offended and harassed,” according to UKLFI. A hospital spokesperson stated, “I can confirm that these pictures have been taken down. We appreciate you bringing this to our attention”.
If you feel "vulnerable" and "victimised" having to look at a display of artwork by children from Gaza, imagine how those children feel when an Israeli soldier is pointing a gun at them. And get over yourself.https://t.co/A29Ql1Lh3X
— Frank Owen's Legendary Paintbrush🥀🇵🇸🇾🇪 (@OwenPaintbrush) February 24, 2023
Anas Altikriti, CEO of The Cordoba Foundation commented that the whole story from start to finish exhibited an unhealthy state of mind within all parties concerned. The fact that adults could find a piece of artwork done by children intimidating, that an outfit such as the UKLFI could move to issue a complaint, and finally for the hospital to actually remove the artwork, is utterly bizarre.
Following the news of the removal of the Gaza children’s artwork, several individuals have expressed their support, stating “it is best that the display was removed”. Meanwhile, the majority took to Twitter to express their outrage and were questioning “What is wrong with art created by children from Gaza? How can the artwork of innocent kids be a threat to anyone?”
Individuals who criticised the hospital’s actions and the UKLFI for promoting the removal of the artwork tweeted that “this is just insensitive.” As people appear to be more concerned with the “vulnerability complaints described feeling on walking past the artwork, where is the insight and empathy for the kids who experience this on a daily basis in Gaza.”
One Twitter account shared images of the display at the hospital and stated, “ if you feel vulnerable and victimised having to look at a display of artwork by children from Gaza, imagine how those children feel when an Israel soldier is pointing a gun at them.”