The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) launched yesterday (Jun. 11) at UNESCO headquarters in Paris the exhibition on the Jewish connection to Holy Land after controversially postponing it from its original launch date in January.
An overflow crowd of hundreds of community activists, diplomats and religious leaders watched as Irina Bokova, UNESCO’s Director General joined with official co-sponsors; Israel, Canada, United States and Montenegro at the unveiling ceremony.
The exhibition, “People, Book, Land: The 3500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People with the Holy Land” tells the history of the Jewish People in the Middle East, from the biblical patriarch Abraham to the present-day State of Israel. It is cultural-historical in its main thrust, with a strong emphasis on the centrality of education, culture and science in the Jewish heritage, values which are part of UNESCO’s credo. It shows the uninterrupted presence of Jews in the Land of Israel for nearly 3,500 years, and the fidelity of Jews to their original homeland through centuries of persecution both in Israel and abroad.
The exhibition content was authored by Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Prof. Robert Wistrich, on behalf of the Wiesenthal Center. Prof. Robert Wistrich wrote the texts and worked directly with the designers on the visual accompaniment that made up the exhibition. A leading international historian, Wistrich is a Professor of Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Head of its Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism, and the author of numerous books.
Speaking at the opening of the exhibit, Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, stated: “After the sudden cancellation of the exhibition in January, many observers believed that this pivotal piece of history would never appear under the banner of the United Nations. But they were proven wrong. Tonight, this is truly an historic occasion because it is the first time in the history of the United Nations…that the UN has co-sponsored an exhibit which outlines the historic raison d’être for the UN decision to recognize a Jewish homeland in Palestine in 1947: the indisputable fact that the Jewish people have an uninterrupted 3,500-year relationship with the Holy Land.”
UNESCO initially canceled the exhibition in January after receiving a letter from the 22 countries in its Arab Group. They were concerned that while the exhibit’s title was innocuous, the subject itself was political, and warned that hosting such an exhibit could hinder the peace negotiations. “UNESCO is deeply committed to the successful outcome of the peace process in order to achieve stability in the region and we have a responsibility in ensuring that current efforts in this regard are not endangered,” wrote director-general Bokova.
At the time, Rabbi Hier, warned that failure to open the exhibit as planned would “confirm to the world that UNESCO is the official address of the Arab narrative in the Middle East.”
There was further disagreement about the exhibit’s title. The Center wanted to use the phrase Land of Israel instead of UNESCO’s preferred term Holy Land. Wistrich said that throughout their history, Jews have spoken of Eretz Yisrael, or Land of Israel, whereas Holy Land is more of a Christian reference. Both sides finally agreed to the term Holy Land.
Presenting the truth about Jewish ties to the Land of Israel is not harmful to peace, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in January, as he dismissed UNESCO’s explanation for suspending its exhibit on that topic. “Negotiations are based on facts, on the truth, which is never harmful,” Netanyahu told his cabinet at its weekly meeting. “The one-sided approach toward Israel does not advance peace – it pushes peace further away. It strengthens the refusal of the PA to make actual progress in the negotiations.”
About the Author: Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
At the ninth hour, Chabad of Dead Sea whipped together sheva brochot in 2 hours for a newly wedded tourist couple — out of nowhere.
Israel finally has a Foreign Minister who is not ashamed to say the word “God.”
An Arab language website sent a reporter, dressed as a Jew, to the streets of Cairo.
Eight years ago, an Israeli rancher from Moshav Zippori in the Lower Galilee region reached a breaking point. Thieves and marauders had been targeting Chaim Zilberman’s sprawling ranch; his land was burnt black and cattle fences cut down. On the verge of bankruptcy, the rancher told his family during a Friday Shabbat dinner one night […]
Scotland Yard said it cannot prevent the upcoming neo-Nazi march that is planned for July 4th.
A store in Rafah, Gaza displays women’s Islamic head coverings for sale.
A State Dept. official is in Israel to talk about making the region nuclear-free.
The highway at the property is a favorite spot for PA Arabs to try to throw
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu annual medical report as written by his personal physician, Dr. Tzvi Berkovitz, states, “Blood tests were completely normal including those for sugar, cholesterol and fats. The Prime Minister’s blood pressure was normal (120/80), aided by light medication.” The reports notes that “Prime Minister Netanyahu trains several times a week at a […]
The President will speak Friday night at Washington’s largest Conservative synagogue, probably to continue to express his opinion that Israel is racist & Israel should embody “Judeo-Christian”/universal values (as opposed to Jewish values). They’re going to lap it up .
This week ISIS captured two major cities, one in Iraq, one in Syria. Assad’s escape plan revealed.
Israeli Pres. Rivlin expresses deep concern after vandals torch a Bnei Akiva building and synagogue in northern Israel.
More than 70 percent of Muslims in Netherlands reportedly view their brethren fighting the “jihad” in Syria as “heroes.”
Israel rejects a Swiss court decision granting $1.1 billion to Iran after an oil deal went sour after the Islamic Revolution.
Liberman apologizes for describing Netanyahu’s decision to meet with head of Arab Joint Party List as “autistic.”
Palestinian Authority terrorists set off a bomb at a bus stop in Samaria and threw two pipe bombs at passing Jewish drivers in Samaria on Sunday. No one was injured. Police sappers were called to the Rechalim Junction where the bomb exploded. They did not find any other explosive devices and still are searching for […]
Netanyahu: “As Long as Quiet is Not Restored, Hamas Will Continue to Receive Very Harsh Blows”
PA claims – ISIS founded by US in order to destabilize and take control of the Middle East.
“I was amazed and pleased that a rabbi would call the Islamization of Europe a good thing. Likewise I believe an all Jewish Europe would be a great thing too,” Turk said.
Tourism Minister Dr. Uzi Landau stated: “Israel is preparing for the ‘day after’.
Zeidan stated he supports Hamas, even as the missiles landed on his areas, [h]e cannot remain silent, even if [Hamas] missiles land on our heads.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/unesco-exhibition-on-jewish-connection-to-holy-land-opens-to-overflowing-crowd/2014/06/12/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: