As far as the organisers of the exhibition are concerned, these photographs of Arab refugees, displaced from their homes in Israel in 1948, are merely an artistic slice of life from a dramatic point in Middle Eastern history.
But the Barbican Arts Centre's show Homeland Lost, consisting of 16 black and white images taken by the photojournalist Alan Gignoux soon after Israel gained independence, is the unlikely frontier of new hostilities between Britain's Israeli and Arab communities.
Jonathan Hoffman, of the Jewish umbrella group the Zionist Federation, has complained to the London arts venue's director Nicholas Kenyon about captions accompanying the photos, which state that the 800,000 Palestinians who left their homes were "uprooted" and "dispossessed". He accused the Barbican of "falsifying" history.
Mr Hoffman insisted he was not speaking on behalf of the federation, on whose board he sits, but added: "The exhibition contains historical distortions which have the effect of demonising Israel."
Similarly, Lior Ben-Dor, a spokesman for the Israeli embassy, said the language used in the exhibition, which was originally funded by the British Council and staged in Jaffa, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Belfast and Amsterdam without causing offence, did not reflect reality.
He claimed it ignored the fact that the "refugee problem" was caused by Arabs refusing to accept a United Nations resolution for the establishment of a Jewish state alongside an Arab one. "They refused a UN resolution and started a war. The result of war was the creation of a refugee problem," Mr Ben-Dor added.
He also criticised the Barbican for not staging an Israeli film festival for 18 years, despite repeated requests, yet regularly hosting a Palestinian festival, the latest of which closes this week. "We would like for them to open their doors to us," Mr Ben- Dor said. "The embassy would be very happy if the Barbican chose to balance its activities with the Palestinian Film Festival with an Israeli one."
Last night, the Barbican dismissed the accusations and insisted it would not bow …