Guardian posts photo story on Gaza drawings by Palestinian children curiously on-message

The Guardian published a photo story, Gaza’s children reveal their hopes and fears, May 11, about drawings by children from the Gaza town of al-Zarqa which are currently on display at the East London Mosque.  The show is sponsored by Oxfam GB.

The piece can be found on the Guardian’s ‘Global Development’ page.

The Guardian characterizes the art as an expression of the childrens’ “collective yearning for a clean, safe neighborhood”.

The drawings are accompanied by a quote from the child artist explaining his or her inspiration.

A few of the children were curiously quite on-message.

A Palestinian boy, 11, named Amani explained that the following was motivated by his wish that he no had longer had to “live under occupation.” [emphasis added]

A Palestinian child, eight, named Rouane was responsible for the following drawing and is quoted as explaining: “I’d love to have a cleaner and safe neighborhood and a nice countryside and uninterrupted electricity.”

A Palestinian child named Amal, nine, responsible for the following drawing, complained of life “under siege“.

At the very least it seems improbable th Palestinian children (aged 8 to 11) typically use political vocabulary which, when translated from Arabic to English, just so happens to be exactly the same as what is typically employed by anti-Israel activists.

If there indeed was some “adult interference” in these attributions it wouldn’t be the first time a display of drawings allegedly created by Palestinian children was fraudulent.

Elder of Ziyon posted in 2011 (The fake child artists of Gaza) about another exhibit by Gazan children in the same town (al-Zarqa), documenting their experiences during the Gaza war, which were allegedly culled from art therapy sessions at Gaza children’s centers.

The drawings include one of a bomb painted with American and Israeli flags crashing into a street filled with dead bodies and IDF missiles targeting innocent civilians and destroying a mosque.

As Elder noted, the picture above from the exhibit was clearly based on an image by antisemitic artist Carlos Latuff:

Elder observed:

“[The drawings] look like they were done by adults trying to draw in a childish style.  The symbolism, the coloring and the motifs seem, at the very least, to have been heavily prompted by adults.

Kids don’t come up with this stuff on their own.”

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10 replies »

  1. What a shock – the Palestinians lie to the world.

    Well, not really. I like this link here.

    It is the account of a well meaning but utterly stupid Australian woman who was duped into sticking her nose into the I-P conflict, but fortunately managed to realise the truth.

    • Thanks for the video Tony.

      Quite horrific and, even worse, convincing.

      Pity that the subtitles are not in English.

      • The lad at 5:00 says Sheikh Mahmood is his idol.
        – “What did he do?”
        “He was an explosives expert. He bombed tanks and sent martyrs to blow themselves up on buses.”
        – “Is that your dream?”
        “Not solely … My dream is to see Israel disappear.”

    • Interesting… to attack Oxfam, one of the world’s most prestigious NGOs, CIF Watch publishes drawings… that are in now way related to Oxfam’s drawing exhibition!


    • CIF Watch is now attacking one of the world’s most prestigious NGOs for… exhibiting children’s drawings.


  2. I sent this to my aunt who specializes in child psychology. She says that out of the 3 drawing series, the bottom one at least is very unlikely to be drawn by a child of the age shown in the picture.

    But even so- we know children suffer to some degree in Gaza. Whose to blame? What’s the point?

    • The problem with this sort of thing is that you feel like an absolute schmuck complaining about pictures drawn by children living in the middle of a conflict like this. But these are being produced and used by adult people with a very specific agenda, and peace ain’t it.

      When a collection like this was coming to a local children’s museum, I suggested to some of its supporters that it should be paired with similar work by children from the southern towns that have been in Hamas’ firing zone. I thought that would show the trauma and sorrow caused by the conflict very effectively. They, not unexpectedly, hated the idea.

      • Having looked at this set of pictures, BTW, I’m willing to say they look like children’s work, and also, the pictures themselves do not have the politicized and carefully coached look of ones I’ve seen in the past. And they discuss all kinds of issues relating to Gaza, things a kid can comprehend, without attributing everything to Israel.

        These look pretty legit to me.

      • Makabit, the slime which produces this actually relies on your feeling like an absolute schmuck for complaining about them. Nevertheless we should continue to point up the lies these people tell.

        Its animal cunning is very effective and insight into the way it machinates can be found at

        Note particularly how it deliberately sets out to cause cognitive dissonance and how, unfortunately, so many fall for the lies in order to make themselves feel more comfortable.

        However Just because these have difficulty in distinguishing fact from fiction and tell themselves fairy tales and then make them “true”, or fail to check out the specious “truths” they are being fed, that should not mean that we fall into the same trap. We, after all, are still capable of reality-testing.

        We should stand up and continue to yell whenever the Palestinians-are-victims king is stark naked or any lies are published which are designed to tug at the heartstrings of the ignorant.

  3. Hello Adam

    The pictures you show can be matched by drawings of children from around the world. Children’s pictures from Dafur have been used as evidence depicting the horrors of the conflict there.

    Anybody who understands the psychology of children recognises that the pictures children under stress draw reflect their inner fears/yearnings. Any verbal commentary which accompanies them will inevitably include the vocabulary of the common concerns of the adults around them. I am not surprised by the comments from the children.

    Pictures drawn by children from Belfast during the ‘Troubles’ depicted similar scenes of bombs, soldiers and fighting but the commentaries reflected the ‘voice’ of their own community – Republican or Loyalist. The children were all afraid – had nightmares etc.

    I read some stories from Israeli children living in southern towns subjected to rocket fire. One little boy dreamed of a model aircraft – perhaps his understanding of a drone – which he flew over Gaza frightening the children there. He released the ‘payload’ – lots of sweets- which made the Gazan children happy. Then there was peace.

    There are other children’s stories from Israel which reflect a narrative of the rejection of the Palestinian people.

    Children throughout the world live in fear – I blame the grownups !