|The Sacrifice Of Gaza Tapestry, 2020, hand-stitched cotton thread on dishtowel, 15.5'' x 25''|
The Sacrifice Of Gaza Tapestry is stitched in its entirety in my mosaic style, and each medium-sized square shape has an average of twelve stitches. My three-dimensional mosaic piece The Sacrifice of Gaza (2009), is the direct progenitor of this tapestry. With an obvious reference to War Rugs, the background portrays fighter jets, bombs, surveillance cameras, guns, bullets, and flash grenades. The 'Sacrifice' of the title refers to a world that has turned its back on Gaza, and specifically to Western complicity. In that way, the bombs and the other machines of war represent me, dropped in my name while the mainstream media, by its omission, tells me it doesn’t matter. The world’s power system remains silent and complicit while Israel bombs Gaza anytime it feels like it, including in the summer of 2020, with constant bombardment during a world pandemic. I think of 2014 when the explosive power that Israel fired on Gaza by land, sea, and air far surpassed one of the atomic bombs the United States dropped on Japan in August 1945. Over 550 children were killed during that summer of massacre.
And there's the Great March of Return, which began on March 30, 2018. The demands were simple: An end to the now 12-year siege on Gaza, and the ability for refugees, which make up more than 70% of Gaza’s population, to be allowed to return to their homes. Over the course of one year, scores of Gazans, mostly young men, were shot and killed, or severely injured, by Israeli snipers stationed along Gaza’s eastern border with Israel. On just one day, May 14, 2018, more than 1,300 protesters were shot by the Israeli army. Sixty people were killed. The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza has placed the death toll as of March 29, 2019 at 266, including 50 children, three medics, and two journalists. Doctors Without Borders called it “unacceptable and inhuman” violence by the Israeli army against Palestinian protesters. This is what United Nations Special Rapporteur Michael Link wrote about Gaza: “There is no comparable situation in the world...where a substantial population has endured such a permanent lockdown, largely unable to travel or trade, and controlled by an occupying power in breach of its solemn international human rights and humanitarian obligations.”