The Israeli assault on Gaza  December 27, 2008- January 18, 2009, or "Operation Cast Lead," resulted  in hundreds of innocent civilians being killed and thousands injured and left homeless.  The number of children who were killed ranges between 300-350.  At that time, in reaction to the horrifying stories of children dying, I made an artist book, In Memoriam.  During the last few days of 2009, in solidarity with the Gaza Freedom March, I made the sculpture If It Were Zack. 
        I am chilled by arguments rationalizing the brutal, violent killing of innocents.  I cannot fathom the wretched abyss of hatred that feeds such an intellect. 
        When I hold my son Zack, my heart breaks imagining these hundreds of children.  When he laughs, I think ,"That child once laughed, too, delighting his mother."  My grief in these time feels near intolerable--and this is just pain imagined.
        I don't know what the answer is to the conflict between Israel and Palestine.  But I do know that the military-minded adults on both sides of the Wall have to begin with the premise that there is no cause worth the torment of children--the children of Gaza live in fear, sleeplessness, boredom, frustration, anxiety, depression, hunger.  And there is surely no cause worth the killing of children.

                                                                                        January 1, 2010
Gaza:  In Memoriam
patricia sarrafian ward

On this day July 21, 2014 I find myself horrified anew by the atrocities being committed in Gaza, once again.  As I write this, per The Guardian "more than 425 Palestinians - mostly civilians - have been killed and about 3,000 injured."   This probably isn't accurate, the numbers are sure to climb.  Never mind the displaced, the destroyed property, the trauma.  That Israel can do this again, and again, and again with seeming impunity is mind boggling.

THERE IS NEVER ANY JUSTIFICATION FOR KILLING INNOCENTS.  Israel has the strongest army in the region.  Gaza is a tiny area from which the population cannot escape.  People running in the streets, bodies everywhere, the bombs falling--and now ambulances are being shelled, hospitals being bombed!!!  It is sickness and lunacy.  I beg the world to wake up and see this for what it is -- the indifferent murder of innocents under the usual cynical guise of "self defense"!!
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