(Courtesy: Middle East Children's Alliance and Barbara Lubin)

The Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland was recently slated to host an exhibit of art by Palestinian children living in Gaza. But after months of planning, the museum canceled the exhibit amidst concerns about the violent nature of the images, many depicting graphic scenes of war. What constitutes censorship, and what is and isn’t appropriate to show in a children’s museum?

Guests:
Randolph Belle, board member of The Museum of Children's Art in Oakland
Barbara Lubin, founder and executive director of the Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA), a nonprofit organization working for the rights and the wellbeing of children in the Middle East and sponsor of the Palestinian children's art exhibit
Rabbi Douglas Kahn, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council

  • Chrisco

    Save the children. We must protect the children. We will keep killing and bombing etc. but DON’T let the children see!

    The rabbi does objecteth too much. Praising the museum for courage – hah! Talking of protecting Jewish children who could be attached at the museum – hah!

    • Danfrompiter

      “killing and bombing” is what Hamas terrorist rulers of Gaza have been doing since Gaza was returned to Palestinians by Israel unilaterally in 2005. They held civilians – children included – hostages of their vicious hatred towards Israel. Children deserve protection – YES – from their own terrorism bound adults…

      • utera

        Yea those that support the palestinians always seem very concerned about civilian casualties, which is odd because the palestinians they protect have no qualms about attacking israeli/jewish civilians.  School buses face rocket attacks and the rest.  Every terrorist attack tries to hit a few jews, just look at the 2008 mumbai attacks, they purposely went to attack a synagogue in india even, killing a pregnant woman on purpose, the rest were tortured badly.  When the side that is against israel apparently has no standards when it comes to their own behavior how are we supposed to pretend we are dealing with moral equals.  It is a joke.  You don’t see jews all around the world killing palestinians whenever they have a chance, or as a side bonus in any terrorist attack, only arab/muslims seem to do this, yet we are supposed to pretend they are all on the same moral level.  Even in the us, after 9/11 there were attacks and murder of jews by muslims   http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Pages/AmericanAttacks.htm  In one just from 2006 a muslim massacred 6 women at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.  Yet somehow this is all swept under the rug and we have to pretend one side isn’t steeping its children in hate.  

        • Chrisco

          You are a racist since you say straight up you don’t consider Palestinians to be your moral equals. Plus a lot of other nonsense like Jews being killed everywhere by Arabs even though in Gaza, Jews – Israeli Jews – just killed about 1400 Palestinians. And 40,000 chickens. And they feel great about it.

          Yes, you better not consider them your moral equals. Because it would be almost impossible to treat them the way Israel does and consider them human.

          • utera

            Wrong, I take the palestinians at their word, and much of that is pure racism. From the first palestinian mufti who agreed to his portion of the holocaust and raised muslim SS brigades for the fuher, there has been a long history of “racism” in that society.  Your failure to acknowledge this distorts all judgement.

    • Joseph Neutral

      My young son wanted to be a cop until we drove by the site of an officer-involved shooting (a circumlocution for a cop shooting a citizen) and saw a young man bleeding to death in the middle of the street.  

  • carlos castenada

    Excellent artwork. Should be made more widely available. Totally appropriate for the museum to present it. Even the slightest criticism of Israel gets labeled anti-semitic. If this is what the children of Palestine experience, then I wear the label of antisemite proudly.

    • I don’t know if you watched the artwork, but it was obviously “assisted” by adults. 
      As Rabbi Kahn stated, it is not about what your criticism is, it is about whether a child museum targeting a pre-school audience should put an ‘art show’ intended at political propaganda and brain washing. 

      • Joseph Neutral

        It wasn’t targeted at pre-school children! The museum has tackled gun violence and other catastrophic issues. It’s propaganda because it doesn’t match your view. Stop sanitizing art and the truth.

        • utera

          The problem is that it isnt art or truth.  If you took the drawings of german children in the 1930s filled with anti jewish indoctrination as truth you’d really be a fool.

        • David Marshak

          Preschool children attend the museum. The planned location would have exposed them to the exhibit.

      • janbn

        The drawings that were made by the traumatizezed children of Gaza are very similar to the drawings done a few decades ago by the traumatized children of El Salvador who were exposed to the bombs and bullets of the US backed right wing miltary and death squads. No one questioned as to whether adults “assisted” with the drawings but when it comes to the Gaza art the Zionists have to place doubt on them.  It is more than obvious that those who back Israel no matter what do not want to see or near any criticism of what the Jewish state does.

        I wonder if those who object to this showing objected to the showing of the adrawings done by the traumatized children of Iraq who were exposed to US bombs and bullets. I suspect tht the JCRC, the ADL and the rest of the Jewish pressure groups were silent and did not care about the content of the drawings. But when it comes to Israel everyone had better shut up unless they are an ardent supporter of Israel.

        • nssfq

          I’m glad you’ve brought the drawings of the traumatized children of El Salvador into the conversation, JANBN, because I remember those, as well as similar drawings done by children who’ve experienced trauma in other places – not infrequently at our hands. As I’ve written elsewhere, that’s also why many people working with children in Oakland felt that seeing the drawings shown there – in one of their public institutions – might have meant so much for them. 

          • David Marshak

            It is reasonable for community members to express their concerns and for the museum to listen to them. The WW II exhibit was about something which happened long ago. This is about what the museum board member described as the most contentious issue on the planet. People did not complain about the other exhibits. At that time there was no policy in place. This cried out for a policy to be put in place. That was quickly done and the museum is now prepared to talk to MECA about hosting the exhibit. Lubin said they would not make any changes to it to fit museum policy. That is not about showing the children’s art. After all MECA made its own choices about which drawings to show.

    • utera

      Well I’m sure the children of germany would have drawn some shocking pictures after the brits bombed them. Without context you can’t draw any moral conclusions, the problem is when false equivalence are made, german children did suffer, but that doesn’t make the culture of hate and all that arose from it justified or excused, just as the culture of hate that the palestinians inflict on themselves is not excusable. You can’t take the results at face value, after all in recent surveys most middle easterners don’t even believe any arabs or muslims were involved in 9/11, they can’t even get recent history right, that is the the perverse society that exists in that region and much of the world. Of course alternates for blame are the jews and the west.  That is the world of distortion and indoctrination those children come from, and as such their pictures will display nothing more than the perverse teaching of their parents and culture.  I know the knee jerk thing to do these days is to always draw false equivalence so one can appear to have a false appearance of being above it all, but the truth is you cannot ignore the reality.  That area of the world is perverse in its nature, when you have millions of people denying even recent history and displaying blatant bigotry, you cannot pretend displaying their childrens pictures is not just propaganda.

  • Irwin

    Let’s define our purpose,If the purpose is to display the art of children, Israel has talented young artists as well.
    If the purpose is to show the horrors of war through the eyes of children, I expect that Israeli children who have been subjected to terrorist attacks such as the one that has precipitated the recent crisis between Egypt and Israel or the endless rocket attacks into Israel, have also translated their feelings into art.
    If the purpose is to add fuel to an already inflammatory environment, then a decision to go forward with the children’s art of one side to the exclusion of the other, is an excellent way to further divide our community.
    All we need to do is decide which purpose we are trying to serve.

    Irwin Kaplan

    • Guest

      Of course, let art from both groups of children be on display… That’s an obvious decision… It is not either/or… Both should be on display.

      The only problem, is that pro-Israeli will feel that this is unfair, because Palestinian children who have horrific experiences are way larger in numbers than Israelis… Although for each child it is horrific like the next one.

  • Sheree

    Barbara – you were the prime organizer of the cancellation of a speech by Bibi Netanyahu in December 2000. Why is your right to free speech more important than the right of others to speak?

    • Guest

      Because these are the voices of children, while that was the voice of an army general who was involved in terrorist activities against civilians in his early life, and who is currently under investigation by the tribunal on war crimes. An obvious difference.

      • Joe

        I don’t get it.  So certain people shouldn’t be allowed the freedom of speech?  How do we decide, and who decides the criteria?   

        • Guest

          Sure, let both be heard…. But, seriously, BOTH… What is happening is the weaker side gets banned, every single time.

          • No, it does not. Just watch all the anti-Israel demonstrations in the Bay Area. I haven’t noticed any anti-Israel speaker being shouted down as Bibi was in Berkeley and Michael Oren was in Irvine. This is the tactic of anti-Israeli supporters who learned the tactics from other totalitarian movements such as the Bolsheviks and the Fascists. 

          • utera

            Notably anti israeli jews get along fine, the lack of any dissent within muslim/arab communities is telling, being pro israel would be a death penalty.

          • S-curvy

            An important detail to this statement is that the children’s artwork had to be exported to a foreign land in order to even have the chance of a forum.  Talk about totalitarianism and oppression….

      • I am afraid you miss the purpose of freedom of speech. It was intended to allow adults to express different views and engage in an educated and hopefully civil discussion to try and convince people as to the merits of their views. It wasn’t primarily intended to promote children art. 
        As for your comments on Netanyahu, I don’t think you know what you are talking about. He may not share your political views, but he certainly was never engaged in terrorist activities. 
        BTW: Would you also support preventing Hamas terrorists, such as Hania from speaking? 

    • Joseph Neutral

      Bibi? What an affectionate nickname you’ve tagged him with. BIbi exerts a disproportionate amount of influence on American public opinion and foreign policy. I’m sure missing one speech had no effect on his ability to affect U.S. policy.

  • Dan

    I highly agree with Rabbi Kahn…this is not a matter of censorship, this type of exhibit would only be acceptable to be viewed by children if it were accompanied by extensive explanation and context. The work wounds very compelling but the venue is just inappropriate.

    • It’s Political

      Absolutely the point…this is not for children. It’s by and for adults, if you wish to see it, then go somewhere else.

    • Joseph Neutral

      Please! Kids video games and TV programming regularly contextualizes Arabs and people of color as enemies. Where is your concern for that? While I agree that young people — in fact most Americans have very little nuanced understanding of history. But the insidious part about Kahn’s agenda is to block most representations of Palestinian voices that reach our shores without pro-Isreali groups’ imprimatur of opinion.

      • David Marshak

        I am concerned about all bigotry as is the JCRC. Muslim immigrants are going through what many Jewish immigrants once faced. This is about the venue not the voice.

    • Joseph Neutral

      Please. There’s no space in the American public forum for authentic Palestinian voices. It just doesn’t happen! Where does it happen? No where!

  • Danfrompiter

    Two question for Ms. Lubin please:

    1. Does her organization consider Israeli children – specifically children of Sderot and Ashekelon that were literally showered by Kassam rockets form Hamas – to be part of Middle Eastern children? Would she equally promote inclusion of their works to balance of biased and distorted pictures of Israel promoted by the “Children of Gaza” sponsors?

    2. does she still stand by her comments that Hamas terrorist are “just regular schleps like you and me” that she has made some time ago? Does she acknowledge the fact that Hamas rule in Gaza is the root coause of suffering of these Palestinian children deprived of normal childhood by vicious incitement against Israel?

    • Guest

      On #2.    ” Hamas rule in Gaza is the root coause of suffering of these Palestinian children” !!!!!     That’s because Gazans lived in God’s heaven on earth before Hamas took over the government..!!!!

      Come on, try to have a bit of a longer memory.

      • utera

        I’m sure the conditions of the surrender of germany had something to do with the rise of hitler, but that does not mean you do not acknowledge his ideology and corruption, but it seems that is how it is with the palestinians these days, one fails entirely to acknowledge the level of toxic hate within that culture now, and that distorts everything.

  • Lemuel Smith

    If one were to take a close look at this purported “child’s” art, it becomes apparent to anyone that has raised a child, that many of these were done by adults imitating a child’s style. There is one that’ s a copy of a Latuff drawing. Perhaps Mocha didn’t care to be party to fraud.

    • Joe

      Link please?  I’m interested in seeing what you’re talking about.

      • Roxanne

        Slideshow of images from the exhibit
        : from Studio 360

        • Joe

          I laughed when I saw the missile in the ground which is made of American and Israeli flags (picture #4).  C’mon, you know that is sensationalism.

          Is that what missiles look like and how they behave when they hit the ground?

          • S-curvy

            From what I heard, part of the problems/accusations Israel faced post-conflict came from incriminating, unexploded ordinance that littered the battle site.  Considering that the battle site is a very densely crowded urban slum and the vast majority of Israel’s arms come from the US, as part of our multi-billion dollar aid packages, it’s pretty safe to assume that the kids did see armaments with words or labeling connecting them to the US.  Obviously, the kids do know who was raining bombs down on their heads (the Israelis) and therefore, used the most simple and direct symbols to depict these 2 guilty parties:  the flags of both our countries.

          • utera

            Well that is false, if that much was being dropped on the palestinians they would be wiped out, the truth is very few actually have experience with such things, let alone missiles, the assumption requires a cartoon assumption of palestinian daily life which doesn’t match the mundane reality that most live normal if poor and restricted lives.  Just google maps the area, it isn’t mostly rubble or munitions piles, the truth is mostly it is normal crowded city dwellings.

      • Roxanne
      • utera

        Palestinians and their sympathizers have found that anything is justified for their cause.  Google up pallywood on youtube and you will see how deception is done.  Palestinian media watch is also a good place.  This is nothing new, many  pro palestinian groups talk and good game pretending to be liberals when speaking to westerners, and speak hate when they are with their own.  Fooling the naive westerner is standard play.

  • DanielDanielson

    The cancellation of the exhibit is not looking good. They should have thought better before agreeing to set it up, in the first place.

    However, I would not support such exhibit based on how they describe the contents. There is a clear difference between reflecting on some past issues and giving a voice to one side in the on-going ruthless bloody war.

    What kind of an effect the promoters of the exhibit were expecting? They might have not thought of it. But these people – jews and palestinians are here. We are trying hard to alleviate racial, political, and cultural differences, at least in our daily life, not to ignite them. ESPECIALLY, when we are talking children.

    That exhibit would definitely splash some gasoline on fire UNILATERALLY. Aside of that, it is just plain unfair to give podium to one side in this long-lasting and very entangled messy problem.

    No matter what the organizer is saying – I actually believe her; her heart is in the right place – she cannot foresee the effects that would have caused.

  • carlos castenada

    Michael give Barbara her fair time!

    • DanielDanielson

      She is getting plenty. Michael is perfectly good at maintaining  the program format. She is interrupting to the point of being inappropriate.

  • Joe

    Wow, Barbara Lubin is acting like a child.  

  • Chrisco

    Kahn(-fidence) Man: virulently anti-Palestinian and just on a smear campaign, he must be in the pro-defamation league.

    • So characteristic. When you don’t have anything sensible to say, attack the speaker in an insulting way. 

      • nssfq

        ‘It’s a tradition’, Reuven, as surely you know. 

      • Chrisco

        Oh sorry for not framing it properly for you but I did have a “sensible point” that perhaps I did not make obvious.

        Kahn is harshly attacking Lubin and MECA. His animus is intense. He called them “virulently anti-Israeli.” I don’t like that. I’d prefer he stick on the issue so I called him “virulently anti-Palestinian.” Which by his measure is fair. It reminds me of the Anti-Defamation League, which is quite an ironic name. They specialize in destroying people’s reputations through often exaggerated smears. That is what I heard going on here.

        He should stick with saving the children.

        • David Marshak

          He said virulently anti-Israel. His organization cares deeply about the Palestinian people who deserve better leaders than they have.

          • Chrisco

            No way does he care one whit about the Palestinians. That’s quite a laugher. And I know what he said – I quoted him!

          • David Marshak

            You heard wrong. The concept is anti-Israel. It is wrong to assume people who disagree with you about how to help the Palestinians don’t care about them as much as you do.

      • Chrisco

        As for calling him Kahn(-fidence Man), well I had that on my mind because of Ron Susskind’s new book. And, honestly, that is how I felt. The Rabbi speaks in talking points, and he pushes buttons. IMy impression is that he is like a lawyer who will say anything for the edge. I don’t hear someone speaking to me like an adult.

  • Doesn’t Michael have control of microphones in there?  It’d be nice to hear someone other than Ms. Lubin from time to time.

    Thanks.

    • nssfq

      Perhaps we weren’t listening to the same program. On the program I heard she was not once allowed to finish anything she tried to say, and was essentially silenced by Michael and the boys – in a way the naive might hear as polite, but that most women out in the world would recognize as patronizing chauvinism.
      Despite her accomplishments, these three powerful men – two of whom are Jewish – treated her like some illegitimate-low-life-self-hating-female-Jew, undeserving of respect. At some points they intimated as much. [One imagines they have very tolerant wives.]
      Krasny is a smart man, and I wrote to ask him whether he’d considered that there might be a problem with that three-to-one set-up, both in terms of gender and political positions? I inquired because in those situations Krasny always identifies with power, and disidentifies with the individual least powerful. I like him, but it’s the thing he does least well; and handles badly. So once in awhile I remind him he’s still doing it.
      Lubin made her own decision to show up, of course. I’ve no doubt she felt compelled, as much as she was allowed to do so, to defend her program, and herself. Otherwise, who needs the kind of grief to which she was exposed?

      • I think you’re right about Krasny tending to identify more with people in positions of prestige, but Lubin didn’t do herself any favors on this segment by trying to shout down the other guy and refusing to stop when asked by the host.  That’s a matter of radio guest etiquette.  You can respond substantively and dispute assertions without being discourteous.  She failed to do that.  Kahn, regardless of whether Krasny was friendlier to him or not, knew how to conduct himself on a radio show.  You make your point concisely and wrap it up quickly.  If you don’t do that, you’ll be interrupted because of time constraints and the need to let other people speak.  And kudos to Krasny for being a radio professional and staying courteous while his guest repeatedly crossed the line.

        • nssfq

           
          Personally, I didn’t hear Lubin do any ‘shouting down’. I heard a nervous woman who ‘didn’t do herself any favor’ by agreeing to be there at all. And I’ve said nothing about Krasny being ‘friendlier’ with the rabbi [though he was]. Like Krasny [whose courtesy, at times, can be debated], a rabbi who hadn’t mastered the presentation skills you admire 
          wouldn’t have much of a career; likewise the man from MOCHA.
           
          If Krasny and other men who speak authoritatively and believe they’re in the know wanted to get together and agree among themselves about what happened [as they did] — that is, that even though they later bragged publically about having done so, the Jewish community did NOT create the pressure that caused the cancelling of the show; and that, therefore, the cancellation was NOT political — why even invite her? Of course they brought the pressure, and of course it was political; everyone in the Jewish community understands that. Score one for our side. This was about image management.
           
          I also wondered why the rabbi was there. Rabbis have no more real understanding or insight into child psychology – let alone art – than your average distracted dad. But as I listened, it finally occurred to me that perhaps he was there to say blessings over the scapegoat that Lubin became. [But so politely done, don’t you think?]
           
          The three men involved all make their living being smooth-talkers; while Lubin appears to’ve dedicated herself to a cause. I’ve heard her on KPFA sounding just the same, [but apparently Leftists have no problems with that; perhaps unruffled bourgeois isn’t required there.]
          While I believe it was foolish of her to agree to be there under the circumstances, I can also understand that she might have felt compelled to defend the program she founded and loves.
          That program, and the plight of the Palestinian children, was completely ignored in the way Krasny set up the program; no accident there.
           
          Forum has plenty of time to fill. So personally, I believe a thoroughly fair individual would have had a half-hour with a balanced panel of people genuinely discussing the implications of the cancelling of the MOCHA show, and the following half-hour dedicated to a discussion of the program that produced the children’s’ art. [You may have no idea what a ruckus that would have caused.]
          I know two women who work in different roles with children in Oakland, and they were more upset than anyone when the show was cancelled – and entirely because of the lost opportunity for the children of Oakland. They know a great deal about these things. Why not people like them – instead of the merely self-serving and self-interested? 
           
          Because the point was not to have a substantive discussion, but to absolve the Jewish community of responsibility. [That also explains the presence of the rabbi.]
           
          Krasny set up the biased structure, and while he patiently allowed the men to go on, he cut off Lubin again and again. Most people would be rattled by that, and particularly in a setup where they’re also outweighed by social power and numbers, as was the case here.
          As far as I’m concerned, Krasny is responsible for what I consider a debacle – however smoothly he seemed to manage it; that’s what smooth-talkers do. I’ve been listening to him since the show began, and he does this kind of thing from time to time. When he does it, I always suspect it’s probably in the service of an agenda [as this clearly was]; that it reflects his identification with power; and when there’s a scapegoat, that it’s cruel.
           
          If he were really skilled: he’d have seen to it the show was balanced equitably; barring that, he’d have known [as he does] her lack of experience speaking publically [relative to the three men], and seen to it all of them treated her respectfully, including himself. Most grownups can do that, and certainly skilled ‘radio professionals’.
           
          In morality and human affairs, the smooth management you admire is insufficient.
           
           
          My last point is that it wouldn’t hurt him, occasionally, to be kind, when he’s dealing with someone who isn’t there to schmooze in a way that makes him look good. I often enjoy his interviews, but in situations where someone’s having trouble, I’ve never once heard him do that.
           
          [If you’re considering a career in broadcasting – or for that matter, most others – you might want to try and have a bit more compassion for the position she was in. Because if you haven’t been in that position yet, almost certainly, you will.]

  • Desmond Tuck

    Barbara Lubin and her group are merely promoting their well-known anti-Israel agenda by trying to invoke pity, and opposition to the museum’s correct decision to not allow blatant propaganda supposedly in the form of children’s art to be used to further their goal. This is exactly what the Arabs do – they incite their children with poisonous thoughts. Now she’s trying to incite ours against Israel and Jews. It’s obvious and it’s disgusting. The First Amendment is to protect against government stifling of speech, in any event, and private people can restrict whatever they want. Most people don’t understand that. This is not protected speech under the First Amendment. Let her group rent their own space to spew their hate. The Museum should not be afraid of their pathetic bullying which inverts morality.

    • Bradley Potts

      Oh now, let’s be a bit more realistic here.  What’s going on is that in Israel (Israel considers Palestine and the occupied territories to still be part of Israel), a dispute exists between Israeli Jews and Palestinians.  Like every dispute in human history, there are 2 sides to the story, yet your comments imply that it is only the Palestinians who propagandize and indoctrinate their children, and miraculously the Israelis are running a completely clean show of their own.  The fact is that this all boils down to beliefs, and I believe your assumption and overly generalized statement that “this is exactly what Arabs do…” is preposterous.  I have seen and heard with my own ears, hate of the exact same sort you now decry, directed by Jews against Palestinians.

      A more relevant and productive show would reveal the two sides of what this malingering conflict is doing to the children of both peoples, possibly propose a way out of further conflict.

      • nssfq

        I agree with you, and appreciate your bringing more reality – that is, facts – into this thread.
        But in order to engage in the cooperative and constructive venture you suggest, Israel would have to acknowledge that the Palestinian people exist. Despite its own demand to have its ‘existence’ validated, its constant talk about ‘existential threats’ real and imagined, and the substantial sums our tax dollars provide so that Israel can maintain its desired apartheid in relation to them – Israel does not acknowledge the Palestinian people exist, nor that they were there when early Zionists arrived. This despite substantial documentary evidence to the contrary.
        I’ve heard the same hatred you describe expressed toward Palestinians, and I respect your having the courage to say it. Thank you. 

      • HSA

        It is good to bring both sides of the argument before the audience. The Palestinian’s view is very much underrepresented or sub-pressed in America. That may explain why people in US and rest of the world have such divided views of the Middle East. Better communication could foster a path for peaceful resolution in the future.

        • utera

          well It isn’t, on campus’s all around the US it is the default position to be anti israel, knee jerk lefties drawn to a false underdog…lefty intellectuals and media constantly draw false equivalence between the two groups even in america.  When huge proportions of the muslim arab world believe no arabs or muslims were involved in 9/11, and that jews or israel were involved we are supposed to take their opinion on such subjects as fair minded?  The default is exactly that, it is far worse than fox declaring itself fair and balanced and then believing in it, the world is clearly still riddled in irrationality and antisemitism, and those claiming the outside world is more fair on this issue are putting out a false portrayal of what is actually out there.  The hysterical criticism you find of israel in say europe or even the uk where the bbc has clearly been biased against israel isn’t fairer at all, it is simply that the US is one of the few countries actually able to stand up against the irrationality and bigotry taken as normal in the rest of the world.  When conspiracy theory and chomskian views are the “norm” in other places that is not the centrist or rational position, that is the extreme.   

    • Joseph Neutral

      Wow! What an essentialistic, dehumanizing statement: “they incite their children with poisonous thoughts.” All Arabs do this? So, whose role is it to sanitize portrayals of Palestine-Israeli interactions?

      • utera

        When the surveys show that huge proportions of muslims don’t even believe any muslims were involved in 9/11, there is some heavy poison in that area, not acknowledging it distorts all discussion.

  • EJT

    Comments: As legally defined, this is not censorship – VENUE
    1. Barbara Lubin – shame shame know your name. It’s obvious you don’t get it.
    2. Doug Kath – excellent presentation including nuances.
    3. Michel Krasny – where is Palestine?

    land for peacnik,
    ejt

  • Aaron

    Who cares.

  • Joe

    Barbara Lubin seemed desperate to have her message heard the entire program.  Instead of coming prepared with well-thought ideas, she fumbled and rambled.  I also found her to be particularly rude and disrespectful to Krasny and the Forum program.  

    Who is more likely to make an impact on me as a listener: a rude person with scattered thoughts, or a calm, polite person with a well-defined message?

  • Lee Thé

    I looked at the 11 works of, um, art posted online. They didn’t look appropriate to me for showing to unaccompanied children–nor would an exhibit by Jewish children portraying their reciprocal experience–nor any other art by children who are depicting any sort of horrors, such as art by children who have been raped.

    I have a second concern, and it’s the same that I feel when I see minors participating in highly partisan political demonstrations: that they’re expressing opinions that aren’t truly theirs, but which they’ve been indoctrinated to express. I’ve seen reports about the kind of education children get under PLO and Hamas supervision, and these artworks fit those reports.

    Thus, what if a Palestinian kid whose older brother had been lured into a suicide bombing operation by jihadists made a work of art depicting her distress about her brother’s death and the death of those he murdered? What would have happened to that girl and her work of art?

    I think you know the answer.

    My concerns about this exhibit were furthered by Barbara Ludin’s stridency during this discussion.

  • supporter of art

    the images are not child friendly and perhaps should be shown at a anti war or peace forum

    such exhibits are looking for pityin a children’s art display at the library – we don’t see such exhibits here in the US so why should we now

  • Jon

    Rabbi Kahn didn’t want to talk about the (very un-Jewish) censorship of the exhibit because he had no ground to stand on.

    • No. Rabbi Kahn didn’t speak about censorship, because there was none. His objection, if you listened to him, was to the venue, which he felt was not appropriate. And indeed it wasn’t. 
      By the way: Barbara Lubin never brought up the issue of freedom of speech and didn’t object to the Museum’s right to not have the art show. Her only problem was that they made their decision late. I agree with her on that. They should have exercised more judgement earlier. 

  • Jon

    On and:  as regards to conservative Jewish group’s assertion that they didn’t pressure MOCHA: 

    “Bay Area Jewish Groups Celebrate Shutting Palestinian Art Exhibit”
     http://www.forward.com/articles/143607/#ixzz1ZGf7aafu”The Tweet from the Jewish Federation
    of the East Bay was unabashed: The Jewish establishment had succeeded in
    shutting down an art exhibit aimed at children that portrayed Israel
    scathingly.
    “Great news!“ the federation proclaimed. “The ‘Child’s
    View From Gaza’ exhibit at MOCHA has been canceled thanks to some great
    East Bay Jewish community organizing.”

  • sally williams

    Thanks to Forum,  the public is  more conversant with the issues and with the need to allow free speech.  I wish it had been new speech.   Sally  

  • guest

    Wow, contentious discussion. Seems the museum should have been more  familiar with the show’s content earlier on, and they’d have decided it wasn’t appropriate, so Lubin’s organization would not have invested time and money preparing to show at this Oakland venue.

  • sad citizen

    I was heart broken that children’s art could not be displayed in a children’s museum. After all, our children have been exposed over and over with concentration camp images. There is no difference who done it. What matters is that censorship at this level is unacceptable. What Isrealli army has done over 2 years ago is so horrific that you have to go to such extrems as to sensor children’s art. Shame on you.

    • Jon

      Silly sad citizen:

      Art from Jewish children slaughtered by Nazis:           Good.
      Art from Palestinian children slaughtered by the IDF:   Bad

      • utera

        When the children in this case are more like the germans, it becomes questionable.  When huge proportions of people around the world believe things like that the jews were behind 9/11, I’d be careful bringing up world war 2 analogies.

        • nssfq

          “When the children in this case are more like the germans, it becomes questionable.”

          This is the second of your posts I’ve noticed this morning, Utera, with similar remarks.
          Does your bigotry know no bounds? 

          • utera

            When pointing out bigotry becomes bigotry you realize just how distorted this issue has become.  In all forms of state media/education/religion there is indoctrination of hatred on a scale that matches that of 1930s germany in palestinian areas, never mind the surrounding regions. So you bringing up bigotry is laughable.  Go check out palestinian media watch sometime and see what they do when they aren’t saying nice things to you while in the west.

          • nssfq

            I always find it good practice: when the shoe fits, just wear it.
             

          • utera

            Which would be good advice for much of the arab/muslim world.  Cept folks like you permit distortion of reality that would make fox news proud, when the bigots become the victims, fox becomes fair and balanced.  Sorry, the history and current beliefs of huge majorities in the arab muslimwworld speak for themselves.  Even in the 2008 mumbai attacks the muslim terrorists went out of their way to find some jews in india to kill.  That is how rabid that hatred is.

          • nssfq

            And no shortage of it right here, it seems, which is too bad.

          • utera

            Look in the mirror my friend.  Best to shake your little head at yourself first.

          • nssfq

            Your vision should be so clear. This exchange doesn’t seem productive, don’t you agree? Goodbye and good luck to you.

          • utera

            Its about as productive as this phoney childrens exhibit.  If you aren’t willing to admit the poisonous wwell  which this stuff comes from, your conclusions will all be wrong.

  • One aspect that nobody seem to mention is the artwork itself. Several healthcare professionals I asked expressed serious doubts about the origins of the art and believed many of the works were “assisted” by adults.

    • Jon

      Why should we believe whoever you asked over those who actually met with and curated the art from the children  (oh right, because they are Arab and you are not)

      • David Marshak

        Many of the people who put this exhibit together are not Arabs and not Muslims. They seem to claim they speak for all of them.

  • Evgenia

    Israel and the United States signed a deal on Thursday to give Israel $30 billion in military aid officials called a long-term investment in peace.
    Military aid for Peace???!

    Do your own research on what is really going on in Gaza,and then make  your comments.

  • RMG

    As a mother of an 11 year old and 9 year old twins, I find it disturbing that Barbara thinks she can bring in mental health experts so that my young children can handle an art exhibit, where they have gone to camp!  Our 7th grader loves Muslims, is studying Islam and it touched my heart when she came home and said, “Mom, they are like us.”  That is a truth. The future rests, I hope, in the minds of children like her who will demand justice for Palestinian and Israeli children alike.   Barbara’s rude, emotional inflexibility, in my opinion, does not make her a good spokesperson for the suffering of the Palestinian children. 

  • Michele H

    I am a parent in the Redwood City District.  As parents we volunteer in our classrooms to teach art, since it is not funded in our district.  My experience in this realm, and I’ve been teaching for the last five year to ages 5-10, is that children who have had profound life experiences at a young age often produce works of art that reflect that experience.  I had one child several years ago who lost her father while in her kinder year.  A pastel landscape project this child did in second grade made me cry the first time I looked at it.  It was simple lines and color, but the emotion from the work was over whelming to me.

    We are talking about Children’s Art. It is art, which is an expression of emotion and/or experience.  What I find so upsetting is that an opportunity to share those pieces and engage in a discussion with a child about what war, occupation of a country/land, suppression of a population, and the responses to those everyday hostilities and how how those affect a person, specifically a child.

    Barbara Lubn and Rabbi Douglas Kahn’s interaction is the perfect expample of adults polarized by thier agenas. Look at what we are teaching our children! If we refuse to be bold and let our children experience through another’s child expereince and development regarding the emotional outcomes of war, how will our children ever understand what peace can bring. And most importantly, as a parent I have control over what venues my children go to. It would be a parent’s decision to the visit the art show. The fact that it was cancelled is a sad day for all, adults included.

    • David Marshak

      School field trips go to this museum. It should not be closed for two months to children whose parents don’t want them to see violent attacks on children with the star of David shown as a symbol of hate.

    • utera

      I’m not sure you’d say the same if an exhibit of german childrens drawings were to be displayed during the 1930s, after being indoctrinated with hate by their parents and rulers to blame the jews for their woes and pushed forward as propaganda for sympathizers in america, that would be the equivalence.  If the palestinians existed as beacons of liberal thought and tolerance in the world you might have a point, but they are about as far from that as it gets, in that part of the world most people don’t even acknowledge recent history, in surveys most think that no arabs or muslims were involved in 9/11, and their views on jews only get worse, from that toxic stew you get childrens drawings that are not worth much of anything other than a propaganda tool for fooling the naive.

  • mgtb

    Of course MOCHA’s decision to withdraw
    the show was about politics, and perhaps funding, provided by those caregivers
    and community groups who pressured MOCHA to cancel the show.

    But with so many of the poor children
    who live in Oakland encountering graphic violence in their daily lives, it’s a
    shame that MOCHA is more responsive to the individuals who want to shield their
    children from art work, than to the local children who actually experience
    violence on a day-to-day basis—many of whom need a safe place where they can
    express what they are feeling, and where they might produce the kind of art
    that MOCHA is censoring.

    • David Marshak

      That is no argument for exposing every child who comes to the museum to content which is too sensitive for kids their age.

  • Lee Thé

    It’s instructive to go to Barbara Lubin’s “Middle East Children’s Alliance” website at http://www.mecaforpeace.org/ .  It is obvious from the content there that this alliance doesn’t consider Jewish Israeli children to be part of the Middle East. The inference would be that she considers them to be, what–trespassers?

    Listening to this debate and reading the comments here made me wonder about the art of dissenting children.

    Suppose a Jewish Israeli child objected to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, and drew art portraying Israeli soldiers as the bad guys–would that be included in an exhibit of Jewish children’s art? What would happen to the child?

    Now suppose, say, an Arab Christian child in the West Bank objected to how Arab Muslims are driving the Arab Christians out of the Middle East, and drew art portraying Islamists as the bad guys–would that be included in an exhibit of Arab children’s art? Would Barbara Lubin include it?

    And what would happen to this child?

  • Bradley Potts

    Hi Michael and Guests,

    Thank you for trying to shed light on a contentious subject.

    As a creative professional trained in the arts, I feel it’s important that we all recall that art is a very important tool for social expression and reflection.  In many ways, art can be cathartic, celebratory, experimental, daring, secret, and offensive, all because art reflects the complexities that are each of us.  If the artwork created by these children exists, then it reflects some aspect of their reality and ultimately their society.  The point is that there are kids in this world who have experienced horror and deserve to be able to somehow cleanse those thoughts from their psyches, and art can and should have access to that tool.  Likewise, art is a critical tool for societies to successfully navigate life and that includes the need for children to know that sometimes kids are confronted by horror, and this is how these kids have dealt with it.  I have to wonder if Rabbi Kahn and his lobby group would have staged the same objections if the exhibit included works by Israeli children that explored comparably shocking images of the crimes committed by the Nazis or by Hamas.  The show must go on — with parental support!

  • Anonymous

    I am interested to see the previous exhibit from the Iraqi children’s depiction of war and its aftermath.  If the museum could allow a similar exhibit previously, why not now?

    • Larchelle

      The nature of the art was quite different(actually looked like it was drawn by children, for example. ). Also, there was no graphic violence shown. Most importantly the board and staff of Mocha 8 years ago is different than today. I would not allow my 1st. or 3rd graders to see this. I would not let them go to a slasher movie either. This isn’t for kids and I doubt it was by kids

  • RMG

    Listening to Barbara is a good reminder to me that whenever I open my mouth, it should be with fact and passion, not with emotional rambling! Wow.  Also, THAT is not the correct venue for children this age.  How many of you are parents?  It can be shown elsewhere!  Oh, by the way, as a parent, I have to “change my mind” often. Inflexibility is quite troubling to me and should be to any human. Get a teenager and try to be inflexible…. I dare you! 

  • S-curvy

    Hi Michael and Guests,

    Thank you for trying to shed light on a contentious subject.

    As a creative professional trained in the arts, I feel it’s important that we all recall that art is a very important tool for social expression and reflection.  In many ways, art can be cathartic, celebratory, experimental, daring, secret, and offensive, all because art reflects the complexities that are each of us.  If the artwork created by these children exists, then it reflects some aspect of their reality and ultimately their society.  The point is that there are kids in this world who have experienced horror and deserve to be able to somehow cleanse those thoughts from their psyches, and art can and should have access to that tool.  Likewise, art is a critical tool for societies to successfully navigate life and that includes the need for children to know that sometimes kids are confronted by horror, and this is how these kids have dealt with it.  I have to wonder if Rabbi Kahn and his lobby group would have staged the same objections if the exhibit included works by Israeli children that explored comparably shocking images of the crimes committed by the Nazis or by Hamas.  The show must go on — with parental support!

    • DrMikeH49

      it’s not even clear that this art was done by children (at least not without coaching from adults), given the presence of American flags in the drawings (where would they have seen those?) and the duplication of an anti-Israel propaganda poster from 2009.  
      The Hamas regime in charge of Gaza doesn’t let anything out that it doesn’t approve of.  Remember, this is the same regime that dresses up toddlers in suicide bomb belts and has TV programs for children that tell them their highest hope is to kill Jews.

      • nssfq

        DrMike – this is such tired, old rhetoric, and what does it do for you? 
        While it may not seem that way to you, like some of your earlier comments about Lubin, some of it reflects the hate I mentioned in our exchange earlier.
        [I answered your last post at the top, because the space at the bottom had become too small.]
        Beyond that, your need to delegitimize the children’s drawings as not being theirs seems desperate. They’re an old, standard therapeutic practice for children in war zones, as a great many Palestinian children are. Would you deny them even that?
        And why would you want so desperately to deny them, or that?
         
        One thing I find critical as I become old is to give up the need to hate anyone. I think you should give that a try. It couldn’t hurt.
        I’m signing off now. Happy New Year.

        • David Marshak

          “give up the need to hate anyone.”

          I agree. I am not sure you and others have worked on that. 

          • nssfq

            So, it appears you’ve been paying closer attention than your posts usually indicate, and that can only be a good thing. Meanwhile, back to the issue of projections.

          • David Marshak

            There are always people who respond to valid arguments by claims they can see into other people’s minds.

          • nssfq

            Too true. But no mind-reading is required. While it’s clear there’re a couple of things you obviously want to defend, I’m sorry to say I’ve yet to read ‘valid arguments’ from you here. 
             
            Despite your highminded claims, your behavior [especially today] speaks for itself.
            Is there no one else left to fight with?
             
            In the course of these days I’ve disagreed with you about almost everything, but have treated you with respect, complimented you kindly a few times, and kept responding when no one else did.
             
            This afternoon it’s become clear that you leave no hand unbitten. [Nothing unusual about that either.] So unless my hostage posts are released tomorrow, I’m about done here.

          • David Marshak

            Fight? I don’t view this as a fight. Hostage posts? What is with that? There is no need to respond if you have nothing you want to say.

  • Art Parent

    MOCHA might want to go ahead and pull this event from their site:

    http://mocha.org/programs/museum-programs-exhibits

    However you feel about this issue, you have to admit it was a bit silly of Randolph Belle to claim they mainly choose to pull the exhibit because of complaints from parents.  Really?  As a parent, I’d like to also complain about another upcoming event.  Wait – your site does not list any other upcoming events or programs.  Now I just feel bad – it is a tough time to be a kids’ art museum.   

  • Local Attorney

    In my experience as an attorney, when an individual becomes as combative as Barbara Lubin did in response to ordinary questions, it’s generally a strong indication that there is something factually amiss in what they are saying. Her vocal tone,her choice of words,etc all lead me to believe that she was not being forthcoming or truthful. It also seems quite racist for Ms. Lubin to impliedly assert, that her remote Jewish ancestry, albeit without any education or connection to the Jewish community, somehow gives her a “free pass” as to her rather obvious and visceral Left inspired hatred of Jews and Judaism, as if one’s genetics (or “race”) dictated the correctness of one’s political thought. Similarly, the condescending, paternalistic attitude expressed by Ms. Lubin as to the Palestinians is reminiscent of the Old South.  She speaks as if the Palestinians were childlike victims with no control over their destinies and that pathetically, need her Western persona to assert their positions.  This approach to others seems to be a consistent thread in Ms. Lubin’s thought and presentation. 

  • Philsmall

    If this exhibit were truly about benefits for the Palestinian children then it seems that once they have paricipated in the act of expressing their feelings thru art and discussed the drawings with their parents or teachers that their benefits have been actualized.  But then Ms. Lubin decides these drawings are valuable pieces of property in the propaganda war she is fighting. So why not show these drawings to Jewish children so that they can be disturbed and traumirized.
    There is a saying that the best way to get rid of a monkey on your back is to put it on someone elses back.

  • Jaime Antecol

    I’ve been following this MOCHA and MECA issue for the last 2 weeks. Judging by the content of the show, and way that MECA’s friends, representatives and associates VIRULENTLY attacked MOCHA and especially it’s face book page, that Ms. Lupin & Co. are representing the interests of the regime in Gaza. There can be no question that this so-called children’s artwork is a rip-off of other heartrending conflict children’s art, and would never have left the shores of Gaza without the blessing of their warlords. The manipulation of the children who presumably drew these propaganda pieces is most cynical and transparent. Nothing proves this more than the poster that paralells in perfect proportion,  a blood-curdling artwork by the proudly antisemitic Brazilian artist latuff. As the Rabbi on the program pointed out so clearly, it is the studied intent of  anti-Israel and antisemitic organizations to foist these kinds of harsh, biased and often bogus political themes into public and civic venues where they ordinarily would not be given the time of day.

    To my mind, there’s only one concern of fairness here, and that’s the question as to how much notice of rejection was given or MECA was entitled to. There seemed to be some kind of dispute concerning that. Of course, if Barbara Lupin and MECA completely misrepresented themselves and the contents of their ‘show’ to MOCHA, then in my opinion not much notice is deserved.

  • Ted Carrisey

    Like Medea Benjamin and her partners in hate, Barbara Lubin is incapable of providing a lucid overview of the situation in Gaza, which continues to threaten the security of Israel by harboring a nexus of Iranian-based weaponry.

    Lubin hails from a repository of ideological hatred that stems from her prior political life of supporting ruthless, repressive communist regimes. When the Soviet Union folded, she adopted the Leftist mantra of delegitimation of Israel by comprising leftist ideology with virulent Islamic anti-semitism. This is packaged as an effort that supports children, but Lubin’s hatred of all things Israel stands for – democracy, women’s rights, gay rights – is conveniently eschewed. As Goebbels stated, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

  • Susan in San Mateo

      I have four comments:

    1) As a parent I am fully capable of determining what my
    children see and when and with whom. The Museum had disclosed that the exhibit
    contained graphic material and as a parent this information that I need to help
    me with making decisions of what is seen or not seen by my kids. I do not need
    the JCRC, or any other advocacy organization, to tell me what my children can
    view and hear.

    2) Rabbi Kahn had stated several times during the broadcast
    that children’s crayon drawings misrepresented Israel. That may be the case so
    why not have a show displaying children’s art from Israel. This show can be
    viewed before, during or after the Palestinian children’s’ art. In our
    democratic society there is accommodation for different viewpoints, debates and
    imagery.

    3) I would encourage Rabbi Kahn to take less of a hard line
    on the Palestinian children’s art. His position began me thinking what is Rabbi
    Kahn so afraid of? Surely not a series of children’s crayon art drawings?

    4) Could the debate on the children’s art be a reflection of
    the Israeli- Palestinian conflict that is taking place several thousands of
    miles away? We in the Bay Area are not immune from it nor should we be. However
    the bigger issue is how did this exhibit at a museum with a small staff of 30
    people became such a lightning rod and solicit so many email responses,
    including one from this listener.

    Susan in San Mateo

  • Joseph Neutral

    Here we go again! The pro-Israel forces in this country will not allow any honest discussion of the impact of Israel’s occupation in the public forum. These same forces disallow the presence of Palestinian art, literature, and voices in the public sphere. Many of the same Israeli-interest groups have held U.S. foreign policy hostage. Even your program falls prey to this.This is so biased. The only voices that you present are Jewish. 

    • David Marshak

      The museum board member is not Jewish.

  • Fashoom

    It was utterly outrageous – although typical of apologists
    for colonial power, for Rabbi Kahn to claim that the Palestinian children who
    created the artwork in response to their experience of the 2008-2009 Gaza Massacre
    which left between 1,166 and 1,417 Palestinians dead, needed to be coerced or
    propagandized by Hamas – the democratically elected government of the Palestinian
    Gazans (in elections judged to be free and fair by international observers),
    and couldn’t have been their actual, genuine response to the massacre – whose
    horror was reported by news sources world over. WHEREAS Israeli children
    depicted optimistic, hopeful images in response to rocket fire from Gaza into Israel
    as a result of the free and open political system in the state of Israel, NOT coincidentally
    because the rockets from Gaza are overwhelming inconsequential – falling harmlessly
    into the desert.

    • Philip1928

      Lets be accurate…..700 of the Palestinian dead were Hamas militants and since no one was in uniform how could the Israelis even know who was the enemy.  The Israeli children are hopeful because that is what they are taught in school, the Palestinian children are hopeless because they are taught there is no hope until the Israelis are pushed into the sea.

  • Truly neutral

    The comments that are coming in now in support of Barbara Lubin and Meca, seem to be from people that didn’t hear the broadcast.  Are these just the usual Israel Haters and Meca loyalists just crowding out the comments that way that they disrupt any speech that they disagree with?

  • Banquo_lives

    I had never heard of Barbara Lubin before hearing this edition of forum.

    Although I consider myself in the middle on the Israel/Palestine issue (I think both sides are excessively violent and equally guilty of wrongdoing), I was left with a very negative view of of Lubin. She came off as a zealot.

    Of course, there is a bit of irony in my caller her a zealot.

  • Art Liberman

    MOCHA is a venue for pictures drawn by children, of children and for children – it’s a place where children come to explore art and to participate and create art of their own. If you understand that and keep it in mind, then you realize MOCHA is NOT the place for displaying violent and painful pictures of war. MOCHA should be congratulated for setting up some guidelines and realizing, albeit belatedly, that the exhibition sponsored by MECA was inappropriate.  Unfortunately, they had no policy in place when pictures depicting war by Iraqi children were displayed. Whether or not MECA took advantage of this and attempted to mount an overtly political and painful exhibit, we should all try to keep MOCHA – and places where are children grow and learn and develop –  as a place where peace and hope for a better future are the paramount principles.

  • X X

    Canceled because of politically-correct cowardice.

    Children must not have reality hidden from them. Everything is appropriate for a children’s museum.

    Someone wrote this art is by and for adults. Read/listen again!
    Someone wrote this art had a political agenda. Everything is political.

    A rabbi should not have been in the show. Irrelevant.

    • DrMikeH49

      “everything is appropriate for a children’s museum”; really?  Mapplethorpe?  Robert Capa? 

  • The two sides on the show sounded just like the Politicians at UN. “I want peace, you don’t!” “No, I’m the one who wants peace, not you!” Blah blah blah. Nobody listens. I switched channel.

  • The two sides on the show sounded just like the people arguing at UN. “I want peace. You don’t”  “No, I want peace. It’s you who don’t”. Blah Blah Blah. I switched channel.

    • David Marshak

      There were three points of view. The member of the museum board explained the museum’s situation.

  • nssfq

    reply to James Ivey
    Perhaps we weren’t listening to the same program. On the program I heard she was not once allowed to finish anything she tried to say, and was essentially silenced by Michael and the boys – in a way the naive might hear as polite, but that most women in the world would recognize as patronizing chauvinism.

    Despite her accomplishments, these three powerful men – at least two of them Jewish – treated her like some illegitimate-low-life-self-hating-female-Jew, undeserving of respect. At some points they intimated as much.
    [One imagines they have very tolerant wives.]

    Krasny is a smart man, and I wrote to ask him whether he’d considered that there might be a problem with that three-to-one set-up, both in terms of gender and political positions?
    I inquired because in those situations Krasny always identifies with power, and disidentifies with the individual who’s least powerful.
    I like him, but it’s the thing he does least well; and handles badly. So once in awhile I remind him he’s still doing it.

    Lubin made her own decision to show up, of course. I’ve no doubt she felt compelled, as much as she was allowed to do so, to defend her program, and herself. Otherwise, who needs the kind of grief to which she was exposed?

    • David Marshak

      “On the program I heard she was not once allowed to finish anything she tried to say, and was essentially silenced by Michael and the boys – in a way the naive might hear as polite, but that most women in the world would recognize as patronizing chauvinism.”

      I heard her talking over people and interrupting. Krasny was right that she talked more than Rabbi Kahn. The person on the museum board represented the museum and is not in Rabbi Kahn’s pocket.  

      • nssfq

        I heard a woman who was naturally nervous, in a structurally unfair setup, trying to defend her program and herself, and to hold her own in relation to three men who, pockets or not, stuck together and echoed each other throughout. I  believe most professional women beyond a certain age would have recognized the game they were playing instantly. Those I’ve heard from today certainly did. 
        I didn’t hear Krasny say that, but if he did, I’d have considered it as patronizing as the rest. I did hear Rabbi Kahn hold forth more than anyone else.
        Perhaps we listened to different programs, too.

        • David Marshak

          Lublin is as able as the other people. MECA is an influential organization. I don’t buy the prism you are using for this. I don’t see how you think the black guy with the museum was playing some kind of game.

          • nssfq

            I don’t agree with you about Lubin, about MECA, or about “the black guy”. So we disagree.

          • David Marshak

            “She has lectured on the issue of Middle East politics and the plight of the
            children in the region to dozens of schools, universities, conferences,
            religious institutions and community groups.”http://www.speakoutnow.org/userdata_display.php?modin=50&uid=89

          • nssfq

            I hadn’t known that, but I’m glad to know; she probably has to, in order to raise funds for the work. Still, the occasional talk for a cause is hardly the same as a decades-long university teaching career, and 4/5 days a week on the radio, and certainly nothing remotely like the position of a rabbi, is it?

          • DrMikeH49

            Barbara Lubin has no trouble standing up for what she believes in. She stands with youth who have keffiyehs masking their faces chanting “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!”.  She led a sit-in that censored Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech in Berkeley in 2000. She led a sit-in at the San Francisco Jewish Community Center in 2008. She can perfectly well speak up for herself; she just refused to understand that she wasn’t in charge of the show.

          • nssfq

            I’m happy to hear Lubin may be stronger than she sounded dealing with those 3 powerful men on Forum – as I’d celebrate strength in anyone in a similar position, and particularly if they had less status and authority than the people they’re attempting to deal with.
            From your tone and the examples you give here, I gather the issue for you comes down to Lubin doing work that doesn’t please the American Jewish establishment.
            And it’s probably good to have that out in the open, since it’s lurking in the shadows throughout this thread. In some posts the hate is fairly transparent.
            You decide about yours. Perhaps you like to be in charge, too, Dr.

          • DrMikeH49

            I think we agree that her work doesn’t pleasethe American Jewish community and its institutions. I just offeredexamples of what she has done. I don’t think that constitutes hate speech– I think she’s happyto take “credit” for that.  Funnything is, not really seeingexamples of  anti-Palestinian hate speech on these posts,but a fair amount of anti-Israel hate.  You be the judge.

          • David Marshak

            You are being tremendously unfair to the museum board member who was very good and reasonabl
            e.

  • Remo

    Ok, I just listened to the Podcast, I live in Oakland, I have 9 year old twin boys, I occasionally take them to MOCHA (great organization), AND I just looked at the Slideshow of images.  I also have no ax to grind in this matter.

    My conclusions:

    1.  I was offended that Rabbi Kahn kept arguing that he was doing it “for the children”.  What does he know about children and when was the last time he took kids to Mocha?  It sure seemed like he was using my kids to support his political agenda.

    2.  Notwithstanding, the images were graphic enough that I would not want my kids to see it without adult supervision, preferably by me.  Violence and war is difficult, particularly when the young are involved.  Kids identify with children that are the victims of war.  Last year we read some stuff about Anne Frank.  Tough stuff.

    3.  Rabbi Kahn was wrong on the following arguments (which is a big confirmation that he is trying to use my kids seems more like a political ruse rather than anything genuine):

    a.  You cannot comparing some select “hopeful” art work by Israeli children after rocket attacks with the Palestinian artwork being exhibited.  Why?

       –  Some kids see good more easily.  Right after 911, I remember a young girl praying for the dead and including the hijackers because “they were people too.”  Of course there is going to be some hopeful artwork.  However, I’m sure there was plenty of artwork in Israel that was seeped in fear, too. 

       –  The Palestinian children drew planes, bombs, tanks, soldiers, helicopters and bullets because that is what they saw.  Israel and Palestine have an asymmetrical relationship.  I am sure there are Palestinian children who drew hopeful art, but I suspect it would be a smaller percentage than in Israel.

    b.  Yep, there were a couple of Stars of David in the drawings.  But they appeared to be contextually correct being on tanks, bombs, helicopters and helmets (the exception being an Israeli boot grinding a Palestinian flag into the ground).  As for Kahn’s argument that it would make life a little harder for Jewish kids here in the States, he might be right, but it is nothing compared to the post 911 hysteria that Muslims and non-Muslim Middle Easterners have had to deal with.  

    The problem is that Israel has a religious symbol on their flag and Kahn is making the assumption that kids will associate that symbol with Jewish kids living here.  All it takes is a simple explanation that many countries have crosses on their flags and their actions don’t represent Christians who live here in the US, neither does Israel’s actions represent Jews who live here. 

    4.  I probably will not take my kids to the exhibit simply because it is too difficult to explain the subtleties of the Israel – Palestine standoff.  Kids have a tough time seeing gray rather than black and white.  And I am not going to purposefully bring this conflict into their awareness at this time. 

    5.  Although better than Rabbi Kahn, Barbara Lubin was far too political for me.  (After dissecting Kahn’s babble, I am too tired to go after Lubin).  This Forum hour came across just like one of those stupid political crossfire show with an idiot-savant on each side trying to score political points while not caring a damn about kids who would view the exhibit.

    • David Marshak

      Seems hard on Rabbi Kahn and then nothing about Lubin. Ignores what the person from the museum said. In effect agrees with Rabbi Kahn’s key points about the exhibit not being right for very young kids. Of course people associate the star of David with Jews. It is not all over the IDF’s equipment and helmets. The fact that some kids have it very tough is no reason to make things tough for Jewish children in the museum’s area.

    • nssfq

      In order to be successful American rabbis become skilled in negotiating this particular terrain smoothly; that Rabbi Kahn did so in a way you didn’t consider ‘political’ merely attests to his skill in that area.
      During the early seventies many of us heard for the first time that ‘the personal is political’. I was struck by it’s truth the first time I heard it, and unfortunately, it’s become increasingly true in the decades since. Sadly, there is very little in this world that is not political, whether we choose to acknowledge it, or not. 
      I don’t know Barbara Lubin, but I know she was guilty of nothing on Forum yesterday, except working for a program she’s built, and that deserves as much respect as she does herself.

  • Chrisco

    Oh, yeah one other thing on this topic (“and the children” oh make me sick).

    I was just reading about the Israeli attack on Gaza. About 1400 people killed in a sick attack on a defenseless people. They attacked all the police stations in the first few minutes, killing 40 cadets at a parade for their graduation. A vast number of stories of innocent and vibrant and connected life snuffed out. And they bulldozed the chicken farms killing 40,000 chickens.

    Expletive deleted Israel!

    • utera

      You can’t even get recent history right?  Israel was responding to countless rockets fired at its civilians, your outrage in light of this fact is telling, you think jews should die by default, and only throw a fit when the tables are turned on those who intended them harm.  Sorry your “innocent” victims argument really does not take into account reality. When the brits faced similar attacks they fire bombed cities into rubble, yet you think israels measured response is too much? Sorry, your biased response only helps terrorists kill palestinians, this constant blind blame of israel means they get to play their little game unchecked, they know for ever death they cause they win sympathy, if they attack jewish civilians, you don’t care at all, if they hide behind palestinian civilians and get them killed, they win your outrage, win win, and you’ve enabled it for decades now. So save your outrage for yourself.

  • lyn17

    Kahn objected to the exhibit because the children drew pictures of Israeli soldiers doing horrible things.  Human rights organizations agree that Israeli soldiers did do horrible things in the Gaza invasion.  I’m sure Kahn wants the truth about it censored, hence his objections.  If he doesn’t want poisonous thoughts about Israeli soldiers, he should stop them from dropping white phosphorous on civilians or shooting children point blank.  And speaking of inciting hatred, it seems to me accusing Arabs of inciting their children to hate Israel soldiers, when in fact it’s the Israeli soldiers and other zionists who incite such hatred, is just inciting hatred.  And perpetrating a lie, which is what zionists do all the time.

    • David Marshak

      That is an unfair summary of what Rabbi Kahn said. He talked about what they drawings are like and why they are not appropriate for the venue. These drawings are being shown right now.

  • lyn17

    About 9:13 into the interview Kahn
    complains about graphic, violent images of what Israeli soldiers did
    in Gaza. Images, that according to human rights organizations, are a
    fair representation of what Israeli soldiers did. And he goes on to
    complain about the “no attempt to contextualize,” by which,
    I’m sure he doesn’t mean note that most of the people in Gaza are
    there because of past mass murders by Israel or zionist soldiers, or
    the thousands of mostly civilians who’d been killed by Israeli
    soldiers prior to the Gaza “invasion” of 2008-2009, or the
    uncounted tons of bombs and other munitions delivered by Israel onto
    Gaza over the years.

    • DrMikeH49

      Yes Lyn, Israeli soldiers invaded Gaza.  And rather than just carpet bombing Gaza (notice that all the taller apartment buildings are unharmed) they went into a densely populated area and took more effort to avoid civilian casualties than any army in history. (No, Hamas armed fighters in street clothes are not “civilians”.)  Given the Syrian bombing of Palestinian refugee camps there, it’s quite likely that more Palestinians have died in the past 2 months in Syria than in Operation Cast Lead.
      Israel did this to stop the incessant rocket fire aimed at 500,000 people in southern Israel.  What would YOU do if you lived in, say Oakland, and had rockets launched from Alameda every day at your child’s school for 8 years?  By an organization that openly states it wants to kill you?  And celebrated your neighbor’s murder by passing out candies to children?Hamas rules Gaza and is responsible for what happens there.  Since you charge Israel with “mass murders”, can you please provide dates, places, etc?Yes, many people in Gaza were part of the Palestinian refugee population– a population that only existed in the first place because of the failed Arab attempt in 1948 to prevent Israel from being established (had they been successful, Hamas wouldn’t exist because its goal of a Jew-free Palestine would have come about).  

      • nssfq

        DrMikeH49 – I’m sorry to say that you appear to be arguing a lost cause. This kind of argument, so full of every little detail of Israeli – but mostly American Jewish grievances, has worn out the world. Those devoted to it recite it as though it were Torah, against a backdrop of profound injustice in comparison with which it pales in comparison.  Therefore, it comes across as irrational and petty; as belligerent as Israel’s recent governments; and convinces no one.
        If it weren’t for those old Qassam rockets landing in fields outside Sderot, what would your rationalization be?

        • David Marshak

          You trivialize people spending much tme in shelters because of repeated rocket attacks. There was also the attempt to free Gilad Shalit.

          • nssfq

            No, I trivialize very few things. But I recognize there’s a vast proportional difference between those rockets, and a people whose land has been stolen, the millions of lives that have been wasted, ruined, and lost because of the way it’s been done, the agreements stalled, denied and broken, the resolutions ignored, the settlements built, and of course the various assaults by a vastly superior military force. This is not 1942. And while there are many things about the occupation that are heartbreaking and sad, claiming parity between the two opposing parties and the damage they’ve suffered in this situation is not only irrational, but ludicrous.

          • David Marshak

            You assign no responsibility to the Palestinians and their leaders for the management of their lives. You blame every problem they have on Israel as if other Arabs everywhere have been doing very well. You talk as if Jewish lives simply do not count.

          • nssfq

            I want you to know I responded to this post of yours yesterday; it’s being moderated [though no one here can understand why].
            It’s always interesting though when the hidden hand in any process is revealed — and particularly when all the issues being discussed involve various forms of silencing.

          • David Marshak

            You are paranoid about KQED now? Have you considered managing down your distrust?

          • nssfq

            One doesn’t have to be paranoid to pay attention to motives, whether it’s KQED, or, as amply revealed here [and in a whole stack of DisQus alerts this afternoon re your posts] someone online who turns out to be merely an authoritarian 
            crank.

          • David Marshak

            Authoritarian?

  • lyn17

    And what would you do if you lived in
    Gaza?  About the far more incessant rocket fire from Israel on
    the civilians there, I mean, whatever you think of Hamas they had
    offered to stop their rocket fire, had stopped it as well as
    preventing other groups from firing or getting them to agree to
    cease-fires. Israel never offered to stop their fire.

    Since you asked (for Israeli/zionist
    mass murders):Deir Yassin, April 16, 1948Safsaf, October 30,
    1948Tauntura, May 15, 1948

    Khan Younis, November 3, 1956

    Al-dawayima October 29, 1948

    + many more.

    The expulsion of Palestinians had long
    been a goal of the zionists. It’s such typical zionist twisting of
    history, they mass murder a bunch of innocent people in order to
    terrorize the rest into leaving – and foreever after claim that the
    problem was that the people whose land they intended to take over,
    the people who they wanted to get rid of, whom they eventually
    expelled at the point of guns, objected to them creating a state that
    would exclude them.

  • mgtb

    The explanation
    that this art show was shut down to protect children from violent images seems
    totally disingenuous. Despite the proclamations that these images were
    “inappropriate” for young children, as far as I know there was no push to shut
    down the 2007 exhibit of WWII paintings by American children, or the 2004 art
    by Iraqi children made shortly after the U.S. invasion.

     

    I’ve worked with
    low-income children from Oakland and Richmond for years, and the majority of
    them know at least one person who has died a violent death. But I’ve heard more
    objections in the past two weeks about MOCHA clients being exposed to art that
    depicts war images, than concern about the local kids who actually experience
    violence on a regular basis.

     

    I would have
    liked to have heard a discussion that included people who actually work with
    children who face violence in their daily lives: educators, art therapists,
    social workers or others—instead of a showcase for the JCRC and the MOCHA board
    to justify their position(s).

     

  • mgtb

    The
    explanation that this art show was shut down to protect children from violent
    images seems totally disingenuous. Despite the proclamations that these images
    were “inappropriate” for young children, as far as I know there was no push to
    shut down the 2007 exhibit of WWII paintings by American children, or the 2004
    art by Iraqi children made shortly after the U.S. invasion.

    I’ve
    worked with low-income children from Oakland and Richmond for years, and the
    majority of them know at least one person who has died a violent death. But
    I’ve heard more objections in the past two weeks about MOCHA clients being
    exposed to art that depicts war images, than concern about the local kids who
    actually experience violence on a regular basis.

    I
    would have liked to have heard a discussion that included people who actually
    work with children who face violence in their daily lives: educators, art
    therapists, social workers or other—instead of a showcase for the JCRC and the
    MOCHA board to justify their position(s). 

    • David Marshak

      MECA also got to explain their positions. The MOCHA board member was very reasonable. He explained why the exhibit is a bad fit for this museum. Rabbi Kahn did also. Lubin kept repeating that they agreed to do it therefore they had to do it. She ignored the concerns of the museum board member. The fact that some children have tough lives is no reason to make it tough for other children.

      • mgtb

        The Museum had no qualms about showing the exhibit during the
        preceding 6 months when it was in the planning stages. It wasn’t a bad fit
        then. It was only when the museum started receiving pressure from the JCRC and
        other community groups that they decided to cancel the show. The fact that the
        museum had sponsored shows with similar themes in the past makes the reasons
        they gave even more suspect.

         

        Of course, the fact that some children have tough lives is not a
        reason to make it tough for other children. But, if the people who are
        concerned about children being exposed to the Gazan children’s art were also as
        outspoken in defending local kids who experience violence on a regular basis,
        we might have seen some more progress in this area.

         

        Lastly, since when did Rabbi Kahn become an expert on museum
        practices?

        • David Marshak

          The person on the museum board knows the museum and the kids it serves. Why are people who think the exhibit is great for kids ignoring what he said?

          • mgtb

            The MOCHA board made the decision to cancel the show because of pressure from segments of the community. In a public statement, even Belle, (the person on the museum board), acknowledged that MOCHA received calls from people worried that the exhibit was “painting the Jews in a negative light”, and that the museum was overwhelmed by the emotional reaction the exhibit generated.

            Despite all the touted concern for the kids in our community, I don’t think it’s really the children that are being protected with the show’s cancellation.

            If we were to accept the premise that this sort of suppression was necessary for the welfare of the local children, the kids in Oakland who produce art work which reflects the violence in their neighborhoods would have to be protected from their own art.

          • David Marshak

            Why are people either ignoring or questioning the credibility of the board member who spoke on the show? It is polemically useful for people doing that to also slight caring for Jewish children. It made no sense for the museum to do that. The museum got information and acted on it. That made sense.

          • nssfq

            I’ve not read anyone doing that David; you seem to be defending things no one is attacking. Why is that?
            And I’m proud to say that I can think of no children who receive more ‘care’ than Jewish children, who, especially since Jewish activists managed to have the show at MOCHA cancelled, don’t appear to be needing your defending either.

          • David Marshak

            People are attacking the concern about Jewish children. There is the implication that these are privileged chidren who should be exposed to insults since other children are. People in the minority try to protect their children from harm. People here make that seem awful. The museum board member agrees so he is also attacked here.

          • mgtb

            No one is slighting the caring for children–Jewish or otherwise–as being an important concern. However, the decision to “protect the children”, only after receiving pressure from certain segments in the community, is an excuse and a smokescreen for the political agenda behind this show’s cancellation.

            It’s a shame that the same amount of energy that’s been devoted to shutting down this show has not been directed to implementing programs and social policies that protect all children and their families.

          • nssfq

            What excellent points you make here, mgtb.

          • David Marshak

            Pleny of energy goes into helping all the children in the community.

          • nssfq

            Have you considered that you might be projecting in all this, David? When you continue to misinterpret again and again, and otherwise accuse various people of things they aren’t doing or saying, it certainly appears that way to me.

          • David Marshak

            Or you could be confused.

  • nssfq

    reply to DrMikeH49
    Apparently most of the world is being the judge these days DrMike. Israel may not believe it can control what it calls the ‘existential threat’ into which it placed itself. But it’s had plenty of control over how it’s dealt with the Palestinian people – independent of what they’ve done at various times; desperate people do desperate things.
     
    And as painful as it is to face, Israel does not come out looking good. Just one part of that is what they call ‘facts on the ground’ – and they could change that on any given day, with different policies. But they don’t, and probably they won’t; because they’ve become too greedy for every inch of the land, and too desperately in need of proving they’re right. It’s very sad. But I don’t believe that justifies hating Palestinians, or means they’re unworthy of mercy. It’s possible I may disagree in that with other posters on this thread. And so be it.
     
    I believe that a people desperate to be admired and loved, if it’s wise, behaves in ways that are admirable, and learns to love.
    I’ve never found much admirable, and certainly no solace, in references to ‘this stiff-necked people’. Smart people soften themselves wisely, and learn to bend.

  • kmsksn

    Given that there are many obvious solutions to address with the graphic nature of the children’s art work — including posting notices preparing parents about what was in the exhibit, providing additional information explaining the needed context, having docents available to provide information and context — it doesn’t take a lot of deduction to come to the conclusion that MOCHA’s decision to cancel the show was the result of the pressure they received from the JCRC and other Jewish organizations. That, in my book, is censorship, plain and simple.  

    And what a loss it is to MOCHA to submit to such pressure and allow themselves to be censored.  It certainly signals to the community what is allowed and what is not in this organization.

    I also thought that Barbara Lubin was treated with complete disrespect in this conversation.  She was cut off, repeatedly interrupted and the points she made were either ignored or mis-interpreted.  The kind of behavior she was subjected to is commonly used by the powerful to silence any alternative viewpoint.  Lubin, to her credit, refused to play along and continued to assert herself, and I applaud her for doing so.Since the exhibit will be shown at an alternative venue, I hope that anyone who agrees that the children of Palestine should be given a a voice to address the horrors that they witnessed will make the effort to go and support MECA’s efforts.

    • David Marshak

      It is almost as if the museum board member wasn’t on the show. The things you propose would change the nature of the museum. Lubin was able to make all of her points.

      • kmsksn

        The things that I proposed were examples of how the concerns about the violence in the show might be addressed; the museum, of course, could come up with others that are more in line with their practices. My larger point is that because there are ways to address concerns about content, the reason the show was cancelled was the pressure from JCRC and other Jewish groups  Their sole objection was that the art was done by Palestinian children.  Canceling the show because of the nationality of the artists is censorship.
        I never said Lubin wasn’t able to make her points.  What I said was that I objected to  the way she was treated by the three men during the conversation and gave her credit for continuing to assert herself, despite the way that the she was patronized and the attempts to silence her.I agree that Belle was not as vocal in this as Krazny and Rabbi Kahn were; still, the three men joined together against Lubin in both their positional and innate assumptions of authority, and in their joint conviction that they were wholly right and Lubin wrong. I would expect Bell and Kahn to have their particular points of view.  I fault Krazny first for putting together this combination of speakers without acknowledging that it was weighted against Lubin, and then siding, as he has a tendency to do, with those who have official power.  He could have changed the makeup from the start — as mentioned elsewhere in these comments, it would have been smart to have included someone who could speak to the effect of the artwork on children — and he certainly should have facilitated the conversation in a more balanced way.

        • David Marshak

          “Their sole objection was that the art was done by Palestinian children.”You have ignored what the rabbi and board member said. Lubin was delaying questions from listeners being started. It is wrong to make this about men persecuting a woman.  Lubin also assumed she was right. The board member and rabbi explained what the museum and leaders of the Jewish community did. You believe neither of them. 

          It made sense to have these three speakers to discuss this. They represent the museum, the people concerned about the exhibit and MECA. All three were necessary.

          • kmsksn

            Himmm… Interesting misrepresentation of what I’ve said twice now. I didn’t ignore what anyone on the panel said; I challenged the assumption that the reason for cancelling the show was the impact of the content of the artwork. I clearly don’t believe it was, since to my mind there were a number of ways the concerns could have been addressed. As I said before, that leaves censorship as the primary reason to cancel the show. 

            Of course Lubin assumed she was right.  And I already acknowledged that, of course, Belle and Kahn had their own viewpoints and believe they are right.  Why wouldn’t they? My fault, as I clearly said, was with Krazny and the way he facilitated the conversation, which was instrumental in giving the three men the postiion of having more innate “rightness” and having more power than Lubin did.  

            I never said this was an issue of men persecuting women; those are your words and I don’t agree with them at all.  It’s far more complex than that — it was three people ganging up on another.  While that was primarily a result of Krazny’s facilitation, one of the aspects that also contributed was the gender of the speakers; other factors include their positional authority and shared viewpoint. When assessing a situation like this, it makes no sense to exclude gender as a factor any more than it does to isolate it as you’ve done.

            Let me re-iterate: the way that Krazny facilitated the conversation had more to do with what happened than anything else.  Another facilitator could have worked with these same three individuals and made sure that each viewpoint, while obviously seen as right by the person expressing it, was heard by the audience in much more balanced way.  

            I had no problem with the three people om the program and agree with you that it makes sense they would be on the panel.  What I said was that an additional person with another point of view would have been, for me, welcome because it would have expanded the context of the conversation while balancing it as well. I mentioned including someone with expertise on the impact of viewing this art would have on children since that was sorely missing from the conversation.

          • David Marshak

            “As I said before, that leaves censorship as the primary reason to cancel the show.”
            The museum director vigorously denied that. You assert the museum director lied. You have no evidence for that. Rabbi Kahn also denied that. He said it was about the venue.

            “someone with expertise on the impact of viewing this art would have on children”

            Why assume the museum director did not understand that? 

            He said a big problem was that this is a hornet’s nest. This was obviously a hornet’s nest.

            “their positional authority and shared viewpoint.”

            All three had positional authority. All three had different points of view. The museum director was concerned about the museum.  

            Lubin was not disadvantaged by being a woman. She had weak arguments. She was attacking the integrity of both men. They did not attack her integrity. Lubin claims it was about stopping  the exhibit not the venue. But the exhibit is going on now and people aren’t trying to stop that.

            I have listened to this again. Lubin talked at length and made her points over and over again.
             

          • nssfq

            Since we had so much interaction, I’m just here to say goodbye, David.
            In many ways spending so much time in this forum was tiresome, but in other ways, it was great. Your tendency to reductionist posts brought out some smart people [kmsksn and mgtb are the two best examples I noticed; I suppose because they hung in there and didn’t buy any of your nonsense]. Both seemed to understand the complexities, and care a great deal about the issues involved and the real, unfortunate reasons the exhibition was cancelled; and both seemed every bit as tenacious in their work as you’ve been here [and a lot more clear]. So I found that heartening to see.
            A friend called this morning, who told me she’d followed this some over the weekend. And she said the community often pays people to do exactly what you’ve done here these last days. I’d heard that before, but wasn’t sure I believed it until now. Perhaps that’s why you aren’t registered. Anyway, goodbye.

          • David Marshak

            People telling each other how bad people they don’t know are with odd imaginings. And making a virtue of posting anonymously.

          • mgtb

            Thanks for this post, nssfq. I’ve enjoyed reading your clear and insightful comments, too, which have added a valuable perspective to this forum. Cheers!

          • nssfq

            Something I read elsewhere about the kettling of OWS protesters reminded me of your and my interactions with the JCRC’s David, and the Right’s constant attempts to ‘narrow and confine’ [and thereby control] the narrative. And that reminded me I hadn’t gotten back here to thank you for your kind words. I admired your clarity and persistence, and know you’ll keep up the good work wherever it’s needed. I hope we’ll both show up somewhere, next time. Best to you.

          • David Marshak

            Now we are the right simplybecause we don’t see thingsyour way. That is absurd. The JCRC takes liberal positions on many issues.

          • kmsksn

            You continue to simplify and mis-represent what I’ve said. At this point, I can’t imagine that anything will come of me making yet another attempt to correct that situation,  so I’m not going to try.  

            We clearly see this situation very differently.  I’m going to leave it at that.  

        • Jaime Antecol

          I feel that Kmsksn is making a dishonest argument that ignores the fact that the exhibition was essentially a hostile propaganda effort wearing the sheep’s clothes of a children’s art exhibit, foisted upon the museum and the Oakland Community.

           There remain serious concerns about the authenticity of these so-called children’s drawings, which appear solely intended to demonize the existence of the majority Jewish State of Israel and indeed Jews anywhere else in the world. This exhibition was “sold” as  “a description of life in Gaza as seen through children’s eyes.” However What is consistently presented is the supposed aftermath of an Israeli military response to sustained attack from Gaza leading up to Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009. No where in the exhibition, or by the exhibitions’ supporters is the fact of this counter-terror response ever made plain. 

          Lubin and her dissembling confederates were given more than a fair hearing through the entire process. They’ve been exposed, confronted and are still able to hang their “show” elsewhere.

        • nssfq

          I agree. It was Krasny’s responsibility to structure the panel fairly, and then to manage the process in a fair and balanced way. Unfortunately, in this case, he did neither.

  • Thomas M. Kelly

    This is probably the most important art exhibit the Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland and they, in the modern children’s vernacular, ‘dissed’ it.
    Shame on the Museum of Children’s Art in Oakland. 

    • David Marshak

      It is important to adults. That does not make it good for all the kids who visit the museum.

  • Sam

    Palestinian children have a right to speak, and if the result of their suffering is too “graphic” then chances are their experiences need to be seen even more. The Jewish community should know this as well as any. When I was young, I learned about the horror of the Shoah, and it did not traumatize me but made me more sympathetic to the painful history of the Jewish people in Europe. It is absurd for Jewish groups to then work to deny Palestinian children the opportunity to speak to their “peers”. I knew about the Diary of Anne Frank and what happened to her when I was little, and I see no problem with kids seeing the world from the perspective of children in Gaza too.

    • David Marshak

      No one has the right to speak in every venue or push sensitive content on a museum which has no interest in being on the front  lines of the Israeli Palestinian issue.

      • Dynamique

        Allowing PalestInian voices to appear in the American public forum is akin to how the Republican right grooms discourse about global warming. Refute. Delegitimize. Accusations of hating Israel.

        • David Marshak

          Some Palestinians don’t like Jews. What do we do about anti-semitism in the interests of the oppressed? Pretend it is not there? Allow people who are not oppressed to freely express it on behalf of the oppressed?

          • Joseph Neutral

            Aren’t Palestinians Semites? Since when does anti-Semetic just refer to anti Jewish bias? It’s a total powerplay, and in my opinion, the way you used the term is another manifestation of white supremacy. 

          • David Marshak

            Anti-semitism has always referred to Jews as a people and Jews as followers of a religion. Jews are not just like white Christians. The practice of Judaism is hard in a country dominated by Christian ideas just as the practice of Islam is.

          • Joseph Neutral

            Arabs are Semites, as are indigenous Hebrew-speaking people. Neither one has greater ownership on the term. It seems as if Jews have claimed it in the Western mind and, as this forum demonstrates, have been largely successful in excluding Muslim cultures from gaining traction in the U.S. I can think of no country in the world that has been as hospitable to Jews as the U.S.

          • Joseph Neutrak

            The overwhelming majority of Jews, in the eyes of the West, are white. When a U.S. Jew is pulled over by a cop, they see a white person. For the most part, the huge majority of Jews in the U.S. enjoy the rights and privileges of that are reserved by whites — otherwise they wouldn’t have been allowed to emigrate to the U.S. in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I understand and can empathize with the feelings of otherness that’s evident in the Jewish experience. My wife’s grandmother felt ugly growing up in the 30s; comic book super heroes, written by Jews, adopt super Nordic/Anglo sounding  names like Clark Kent.

          • David Marshak

            You are mistaken about how Jewish immigrants have been treated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. There was sentiment  against Jews similar to that against blacks at some times and in some places. Jews practice a religion that is s
            till criticized by some Christians including liberal Christians who don’t like some ideas in it.

          • Joseph Neutral

            You’rewrong bout the magnitude. One would have to be paranoid or delusional to compare the experience of US Blacks to immigrant Jews. Blacks couldn’t emmigrate legallyto the U.S. Jews could.Portals to upward mobility were systematically deniedto Blacks, whereas industries that flowered duringthe early 20th century grew with Jewish participaton and leadership.

          • David Marshak

            The word anti-semitism was invented to refer to Jews and has done so until some people decided to play word games with it; as if folks like the Nazis and KKK meant Arabs as well as Jews. This is not about being hospitable to Muslims. It took a long time and a lot of work by Jews to gain acceptance in the US. It didn’t just happen and there are still problems practicing a minority religion in America.

  • Jaime Antecol

    The Sudden jump in letter writers here seems to indicate that the word has gone out in anti-Jewish and anti-Israel circles to harass the Museum now as much as possible in the wake of this event cancellation. A not un-typical response from the haters.

    Also I remember seeing a notice for this event posted by MOCHA to the effect that this was to be an exhibit by “children describing life in Gaza.” If that’s how  MECA represented themselves to the museum without giving any hint as to the fact of the very controversial and propagandistic content of this show, then MECA deserved to be disinvited at whatever notice the museum sought fit to do. 

  • Itten

    I listened to this Forum program. 
    I felt this art show wasn’t right for an art center which caters to nurturing young children. When Barbara Lubin said MECA would also supply counselors, -I thought isn’t that nice. Before the show was even canceled they had staff to help kids understand violence and a particular political agenda. The people who want to force images of violence on our kids also wanted to supply their mental health counselors. Nice intentions, maybe, but that just didn’t sit right, in fact it seemed over the top. Counselors have their own truths too and the agency that wanted the show wanted to supply counseling? For people who say their intentions are the wellbeing of middle eastern children they had little concern for the children of Israel and the kids in our local community. Barbara Lubin words and antics during the program left me with worried thoughts and a real desire to shelter our kids from this mono-agenda, and possibly adolescent brain control. 

  • Annestorm77

     I find it tragic that children are being manipulated and brain washed into creating this “art exhibit”. I have seen the images online, and agree that there appears to have been very adult guidance in the depiction of Israeli soldiers and bombs. Shame! To stoop so low as to use children for such a base hatred display. God weeps for such misuse of innocents.  AMS San Mateo

  • Chrisco

    The Sudden jump in letter writers here seems to indicate that the word
    has gone out in anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian circles to harass the
    Museum now as much as possible in the wake of this event cancellation.
    A not un-typical response from the haters.

    • David Marshak

      It is a huge error to think the people concerned about the pictures in the museum venue are against the Palestinians or Arabs. It is a mistake to think many of us care less about them than those who blame everything on Israel do. We simply have different ideas about how things work and based on that, different ideas about how to help them.

      • Chrisco

        And it is a huge error, I suppose from your logic, to think slaveowners are against their slaves. They just have a different idea of the way things work and based on that, different ideas about how to help them.

        • David Marshak

          That is an amazing jump. You can’t accept that decent people disagree with you.

  • nssfq

    reply to utera
    I see the poisoned well perfectly clearly. I simply don’t locate it in the same place that you do. Bye.

  • nssfq

    utera  in reply to nssfq
    Its about as productive as this phoney childrens exhibit.  If you aren’t willing to admit the poisonous wwell  which this stuff comes from, your conclusions will all be wrong.
     
     
    nssfq  reply to utera
    I see the poisoned well perfectly clearly. I simply don’t locate it in the same place that you do. Bye. (sent last night; problem at the bottom of the thread)

  • EGH

    It’s a shame that the museum did not turn down the exhibit when it was first viewed.  But alas, they made a mistake but corrected it, unfortunately right before the opening day.  However, if an exhibit is obviously not appropriate for a children’s museum,  should they continue with showing it?  Of course not. 

  • nssfq

    KQED/DISQUS:
    Whoever it is, why do you keep rearranging the posts? And more important, what’s the problem with the mysteriously shrinking posts and reply boxes, – an issue that now seems to shift from place to place?
    It would be helpful to all to have that fixed.

    • David Marshak

      The shrinking is the way the Disqus system works. Each reply is narrower than the post it replies to. You can choose how posts are sorted.

      • nssfq

        Thank you for explaining that, David. I wonder, what’s the purpose of it working that way?
        [We’ve spent the weekend – when not here – watching Guzman’s entire ‘The Battle of Chile’, so perhaps I’m even more sensitive than usual to people, their voices, or their art – being disappeared.]

        And who ‘can choose how posts are sorted’, and how?

        We seem to disagree about most everything, but I hand it to you for hanging in there with your point of view.

        • David Marshak

          It makes it easy to see replies until the chain gets too long. At the top right is a sort by box.

          I trust and respect people you don’t trust and respect. I don’t assume people I disagree with are bad people. My default assumption is that they are sincere and honest. I don’t see Lubin as a victim. I wonder if she does.

  • nssfq

    David Marshack  in reply to nssfq
    Or you could be confused.

    nssfq  in reply to David Marshak
    lol…always possible, of course, but in this case, I think, not very likely. I do notice that you avoid [considering? and] answering the question, which may be answer enough. And from the batch of DisQus alerts I’ve just received, it appears your highminded claim to being respectful has begun to wear thin. No surprise there, alas.

    • David Marshak

      The question? What do my recent posts mean to you? I think your view of the radio show is wrong.

  • David Marshak

    Dynamique said:

    “You’rewrong bout the magnitude. One would have to be paranoid or delusional to compare the experience of US Blacks to immigrant Jews. Blacks couldn’t emmigrate legallyto the U.S. Jews could.Portals to upward mobility were systematically deniedto Blacks, whereas industries that flowered duringthe early 20th century grew with Jewish participaton and leadership.”Many exclusions which applied to blacks in the North also applied to Jews. Jews who had relatives in the US died in the holocaust because they could not come here.     

  • mgtb

    In response to David’s last two comments:

    Nobody has said or implied that since some children suffer, all children should. What I did point out is the hypocrisy inherent in using children as an excuse to obfuscate the political agenda behind this show’s cancellation–especially since we live in the middle of a community where so many children are neglected by the society at large and do not receive the protection they need.

    Plenty of energy does not go into helping all the children in this community. I have worked with local children for over 15 years, and am well acquainted with the lack of resources and energy that is devoted to them.

    For instance, child poverty levels in Oakland far outpace poverty levels in CA and in the US. 46% of Oakland’s children live in families where no parent has full-time, year-round employment.

    More than half of Oakland’s elementary schools received an API rating of 1 or  2–the lowest possible score, and over 40% of its students come from families served by the CALWORKS program. The concentration of poverty is even more intense when one considers that all of the schools that received an API rating of 1 or 2 serve student populations where over 90% of the children qualify for free or reduced lunch. 

    All children need protection, in Oakland and anywhere else around the world where children suffer. 

    • David Marshak

      You seem to be imputing hypocrisy to both the rabbi and the museum director. They were very straightforward.

      • mgtb

        Bingo! (Except for the straight-forward part, and that it’s just them).

        • David Marshak

          Why are you sure the museum director can’t be trusted? Do you assume he cares less about the poor on Oakland than you do?

  • Robba33

    Of course the opposition had a political agenda of censorship!  All that talk about “not being appropriate for children” is PR nonsense, an attempt to frame the debate and avoid airing the fear and repression of Palestinian children.  From the sound of it, the opposition might have had shills to call in in support of that position. Even worse, the argument that “democratic” Israel’s children, in their pictures, are neither politically controlled nor pessimistic but hopeful is disgusting to the point of racism.  

    What the Israelis are afraid of is that the AMerican public is waking up to the fact that Israel is a brutal, colonialist power with a 19C ethno-nationalist and religious ideology.  This is not anti-Israeli – I have supported its right to exist for 40 years – but an acknowledgement that Israel has become an imperialist power, a militarized society that refuses to introspect on its own behavior, and a threat to world peace BECAUSE OF ITS POLICIES AND BEHAVIOR.

    • David Marshak

      The exhibit is going on now with no opposition. It was about the venue.

      • Robba33

        At any rate, making that fatuous argument and getting the children’s museum to back down in such a cowardly way has done more to publicize the content of the art that would otherwise have occurred.  

        • David Marshak

          Did you pay any attention to what the museum director said? Why assume people who don’t agree with you are lying?

  • nssfq

    David Marshak  reply to nssfq (who replied to mgtb)
    Now we are the right simplybecause we don’t see thingsyour way. That is absurd. The JCRC takes liberal positions on many issues.
     
     
    nssfq  reply to David Marshak
    A bit more complexity in your thinking might reveal to you that isn’t what I said, David [if that kind of thing matters to you]. Your first sentence distorts meaning [and projects] in a way I haven’t done here; also, note the sentence structure, and the comma that joins but also separates the sentence-parts represented by “the JCRC’s David”, and “and the Right’s”. Maybe that will help.

    Also, if it matters, on the Left, the word liberal has lost all credibility since the Clinton era [even moreso now, in retrospect], and the unfortunate way liberal Zionism has gone. I imagine the sort of thing you refer to fits into the latter.  

    In my last reply to you, I neglected to thank you again for your DisQus explanations, which were helpful, and seemed to come from such a clearer ‘voice’ than the rest of what you wrote. In any case, best to you, as well.

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