UN to exhibit drawings by Israeli soldier whose body is held in Gaza


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The drawings of Hadar Goldin, an Israeli soldier who was killed by Hamas in Gaza where his body is being held, will be exhibited at U.N. headquarters in New York.

A main exhibition area of the building will display the drawings during the General Assembly in September.

Goldin’s parents, Leah and Simcha of Kfar Saba, and his twin brother, Tzur, will attend the exhibit’s opening at the United Nations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who will speak before the General Assembly.

The exhibit is titled “The Final Peace,” named for a misspelling by Goldin, a lieutenant, in one of his drawings. The Goldin family decided to hold the exhibit after a curator who visited them during the shiva week saw the drawings and was impressed by his artwork.

The family previously held an exhibit of Goldin’s artwork on the first anniversary of the 2014 Gaza war at the Ein Hod artists’ village in northern Israel. Twice a year, his classmates organize a day of hiking and study in his memory.

Goldin’s unit was attacked during a failed cease-fire initiated by the United Nations. He was killed and his remains are held by Hamas. The IDF was able to recover enough of Goldin’s body to declare him dead.

The family held a funeral, and since then has engaged in a campaign to return the rest of his remains.  The Goldins have traveled to the United States three times in their attempt, thus far unsuccessful, to meet with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and lobby for the return of their son’s body.

Israel’s U.N. ambassador, Danny Danon, is working with the world body’s officials and representatives from various countries to arrange diplomatic meetings for the Goldins aimed at ensuring the return of the remains of Goldin and Sgt. Oron Shaul, whose remains also are held by Hamas, for burial in Israel.

“It is vital that that world leaders see firsthand that in addition to an Israeli soldier who was killed and captured during a U.N. cease-fire, Hadar was a talented human being full of possibility, who had his whole life ahead of him,” Leah Goldin said in a statement announcing the exhibit. “I call upon the U.N. and the international community to take responsibility and ensure that Hadar is returned to Israel for a proper burial.”

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