A London hospital has been forced to remove an art exhibition by Palestinian schoolchildren after complaints accusing the display as Palestinian propaganda. 

The display outside the children’s outpatients ward at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital depicted ‘Palestine’ occupying the entire State of Israel and the Palestinian flag flying over the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, causing several Jewish patients to feel “vulnerable, offended and harassed.”

Crossing Borders – A Festival of Plates was designed by pupils at two United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) schools in Gaza.

UK Lawyers For Israel (UKLFI), which complained to the hospital about the exhibition, has raised concerns that the children from the schools involved – Beit Lahia Girls’ School and Jabalia Prep Boys’ A School – have been “indoctrinated” by Hamas ideology. Hamas, which is committed to the obliteration of Israel, has been designated a terrorist group by countries around the world. 

UKLFI director Caroline Turner, who wrote to the hospital demanding that the display be taken down, told the JC: “It seems incredible that Chelsea and Westminster Hospital would choose to link up with schools from Gaza, where anti-Israel propaganda is rife, with the inevitable effect that such anti-Israel propaganda would be spread to its own hospital school, and to patients and others passing by the display on the wall.

“The effect of the exhibition on Jewish people is to make them feel vulnerable and offended, harassed and victimised. Such an exhibition certainly does not promote unity and is very divisive.”

A note beneath one of the plates read: “Fishing with nets is one of the oldest industries in Palestine. The shoreline stretches for 224 km from Rafah in the south to Ra’as al Naqoura in the North.”

The explanation was slammed by Ms Turner, who said: “Ra’as al Naqoura is the Arabic name for Rosh HaNikra, an international border crossing between Israel and Lebanon in the North.  Rafah is the border town with Egypt, in the South of Gaza.  Thus the existence of Israel is totally denied and “Palestine” is regarded as covering the entirety of Israel.”

Another description on a plate read: “The olive branch is the symbol of peace and is used to express the wish for an independent Palestinian state”. However, the picture on the plate accompanying the text shows the Dome of the Rock with a large Palestinian flag, implying that Jerusalem and in particular the site of what had been the Jewish Temple, would be part of a Palestinian state.

Ms Turner said: “The Temple Mount is the holiest place in Judaism and it is offensive for Jewish people to see a Palestinian flag over their holiest site.

Jewish patients have approached UKLFI for help, saying that they feel vulnerable, harassed and victimised by this display.”

A spokesperson for the Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust confirmed the exhibition has now been taken down, following an approach for an explanation from the JC.

The spokesperson said: “Many thanks for contacting us about the pictures that some of our patients found offensive. I understand these images were placed next to the children’s outpatients department.

“I can confirm that these pictures have been removed. Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention.”

Source: Jewish Chronicle

This year, we want to do more to bless Israel and the Jewish people.

We know that as we bless Israel this year, God will bless us, just as He promised in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Now is the time to bless Israel and the Jewish people.