Medal of ShameOperation Cast Lead - Medals of Shame

Between 27th December 2008 and 17th January 2009 Israeli Military Forces conducted Operation Cast Lead against the captive population of Gaza. The unbridled savagery killed 1330 Palestinians (more than 5000 were wounded and maimed) including the 352 children whose names are engraved on the brass nameplates. Each ribbon gives the age of each child killed with a Medal of Shame attached. On each medal it states Operation Cast Lead - Medal of Shame. Two arcs of barbed wire along the inner circumference of each medal represents the imprisoned population of Gaza.

Operation Cast Lead was an atrocity on a grand scale which was calculated from the very heartlessness of the Israeli government. These Medals of Shame will serve as a permanent reminder of this grotesque and savage crime against the children of Gaza.

The image of the Medal on the right is one of 352 which includes the name of each Palestinian child.


This painting is the last in a series of works relating to Operation Cast Lead which was conducted by the Israeli forces against the captive population of Gaza from 27th December 2008 to 17th January 2009. According to Palestinian Medical Services, in three weeks the Israeli offensive killed 1330 Palestinians and left 5450 wounded. Defence of Children International confirmed 352 children were killed as a direct result of the military operation with another 5 children dying of related causes soon after. On the Israeli side 10 military personnel and 3 civilians were killed according to official figures.

The courageous Jewish Israeli journalist Gideon Levy was to write: "With a broken heart and eyes overflowing i have watched the last war from afar. Operation Cast Lead Israel called it. It was a war that was no war, in which Israel met virtually no resistance, no counterattack worth speaking of. It was just a wild onslaught upon the most helpless population in the world, besieged and jailed, with nowhere to run, not even into the sea. White Phosphorus(White Pete) shells scorching living flesh, Flechettes flinging thier nails far and wide, manned and unmanned aircraft discharging missiles, disproportionate bombing and shelling. Hundreds of innocents were killed for no other reason than they were Gazans". (ref. 'The Punishment of Gaza' by Gideon Levy).

White Pete is an attempt to capture a fragment of the rage and sadness i felt about this crime against the population of Gaza, especially the children. I would like to thank the Edinburgh poet and author Jim Aitken for allowing me to use his poem 'White Pete' in this painting.

In an eight day military operation called 'Pillar of Cloud' in November 2012 Israeli Forces killed another 59 innocent Palestinian children.

White Pete

White Pete Poem