web analytics
July 30, 2015 / 14 Av, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


UNESCO: Postponing ‘Jewish Connection to Israel’ Exhibit to June

You'd never know from UNESCO's "postponement" announcement that the exhibition was called off because of Arab pressure, rather than because the exhibition wasn't ready.
UNESCO poster announcing its jointly sponsored exhibition with the Simon Wiesenthal Center

UNESCO poster announcing its jointly sponsored exhibition with the Simon Wiesenthal Center
Photo Credit: Simon Weisenthal Center

A brouhaha broke out last week after UNESCO summarily canceled the opening of an exhibit it had long-promised to co-sponsor with the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

UNESCO’s reason for the last-minute cancellation was that it had been told by the Arab League that the exhibition might adversely impact the ongoing “peace process” negotiations intended to achieve peace between the Palestinian Arabs and Israel.

On Tuesday, Jan. 21 – the day after the scheduled opening – UNESCO posted a notice on its website:

Following numerous requests for information regarding the Exhibition, “People, Book, Land – The 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People to the Holy Land,” UNESCO wishes to reaffirm that the exhibition has not been cancelled but postponed.

UNESCO is in discussions with the Simon Wiesenthal Center to finalize the last points and inaugurate the exhibition in the month of June.

Really?

This announcement might lead one to think that the exhibit wasn’t quite ready.  You certainly would not know, although it is true, that at the time of the original “postponement,” the exhibition materials had already been hung on the walls, thousands of invitations had been sent out, and people were already arriving in Paris in anticipation of the opening event at UNESCO’s headquarters.

This is what actually went down:

Last Tuesday, Jan. 14, the director-general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) sent a letter to the Simon Wiesenthal Center that despite having agreed two years ago to co-sponsor an educational exhibition, which was vetted by UNESCO-sponsored academics, about the relationship between the Jews and the Holy Land, UNESCO was summarily cancelling the exhibition opening, scheduled for the following Monday, Jan. 20.

Two years in the planning? Two years of paying academics, gathering materials, flying internationally acclaimed historians and other experts in and out, restoring the materials so that they could be displayed. But on the very day that the very first peep was heard from the Arab League, and on the basis of the League’s position – without any room for discussion, negotiation or representation – the exhibit was cancelled.

The leaders of the Wiesenthal Center, dean and founder Rabbi Marvin Hier, and associate dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper, immediately dashed off a letter to Irina Bokova, UNESCO’s director-general.

They started out reminding the good madam that the SWC had followed every request and condition laid down by UNESCO in order to ensure a smooth process and a successful event. Then they reminded her that she was the one who put her own signature on the agreement to launch the joint undertaking. And then they told her what they expected of her:

we insist that you live up to your responsibilities and commitments as the co-organizer of this exhibition by overturning this naked political move that has no place in an institution whose mandate is defined by education, science, and culture — not politics. Failure to do so would confirm to the world that UNESCO is the official address of the Arab narrative of the Middle East.

Rabbi Cooper spoke with The Jewish Press on Thursday, Jan. 16. In Cooper’s view, the exhibition was not pulled because of the content. It is a purely historical body of work. And if there are critics out there who cannot believe the SWC could be trusted to ensure absolute honesty and partiality about the topic, surely the UNESCO-appointed academics made sure that was the case.

“No, pulling the exhibition had nothing to do with the content, it was simply the very idea – truth or not – that Jews have had a 3,500 years long relationship with the Holy Land” that the Arab League could not permit and the League’s displeasure was not something UNESCO could abide for even a single day.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

5 Responses to “UNESCO: Postponing ‘Jewish Connection to Israel’ Exhibit to June”

  1. UNESCO – united escape cowards!!! What a bunch of phonies, “I have worked hard for this blind fold, I earned it in denial, I owe it to myself and nobody, but nobody is going to deprive me of my willful blindness! I even know in my heart it’s wrong but I will indulge this senseless maneuver,”
    Signed UNESCO, THE SPINELESS DISORGANIZATION!!!

  2. Alan Kardon says:

    Why June???????????

  3. Cody Flecker says:

    Every six months the US is planning to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. How many years has this nonsense been going on? By June, something else will crop up and the date will be moved to September, etc.etc.etc.

  4. Alan Kardon says:

    Cody Flecker What does that have to do with the exhibit? Maybe the next President will realize that Israel is on our side.

  5. Rick Punkris says:

    The U.S. should curtail their support to the U.N, that bends to the wishes of those opposed to Israel. 3500 year history of Jews and the land of Canaan? I am sure there are those that want to suppress that kind of exhibition.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
PUG Meeting
Abbas Reshuffles Unity Govt with Hamas, Claims ISIS Is Already in Gaza, ‘No Sense Denying It’
Latest News Stories
PUG Meeting

Hamas said that the unity government’s reshuffle was “unconstitutional and outside consensus.”

Ravensburg Marienplatz31 Stolpersteine Landauer

Jewish community leaders argued these “stolpersteine” — German for stumbling blocks — were an inappropriate form of remembrance because people would step on them.

Stabbing at Gay Parade

The stabber is an ultra-Orthodox man who had stabbed three marchers at the gay pride parade in Jerusalem 10 years ago.

Hamas terrorists usually fired rockets at Israeli towns from civilian areas in Gaza.

NGO-Monitor’s questions raises questions about AI’s professionalism and credibility…

Tel Aviv’s talent resources were ranked 3rd in the world — behind 2nd place Moscow and 1st place Silicon Valley.

The Prime Minister said that the procedures for inspections are “full of holes.”

“The deal before us now is simply too dangerous for the American people.”

Rabbis will appeal to Congressmen, especially the Jews, immediately before the Rosh HaShanah New Year.

A massive heat wave is expected to last throughout most of next week, if not longer.

Israel president Ruby Rivlin visits an IDF naval base in Haifa on July 28, 2015.

Growing opposition to the nuclear agreement could break the back of “uncertain” Democrats in Congress.

Canada is buying Israeli Iron Dome radar that is able to detect rockets, artillery and mortars at long ranges, and can simultaneously engage a large number of targets. Ottawa’s Dept. of National Defense awarded the contract to ELTA Systems, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI), and Rheinmetall-Canada. The radar system offers exceptional detection […]

Dore Gold pointed out to American Jewish Leaders that Israel and Sunni Muslims agree on Iran.

Turkey paradoxically accuses the outlawed Kurdish PKK terror group of collaborating with ISIS.

Israeli military medics rescued a Palestinian Authority Arab girl in Hebron on Thursday.

At least 2 Border Guard officers refused early Thursday to expel families from the ruins of Sa-Nur.

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. July 29, 2015.

Kerry justifies keeping Iran deal “side deals” from the American public, while skipping Israel on ME trip.

US Secy of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif shake hands.

A poll suggesting American Jews support the Iran deal is flawed, while a new poll reveals the opposite.

Netanyahu called Pollard’s wife over news of his impending release from prison.

12,000 people filled Times Square at the Stop Iran Now rally in NY’s Times Square.

The NYC rally against the Iran deal must show Congress, which must show the world, that Americans don’t support this deal.

Read “Catch the Jew” to learn the truth about Israel, Israelis, Arab Palestinians and the havoc-wreaking NGOs in the region.

Kuwaiti-American 24 year old murdered four US marines in a drive-by shooting on Thursday.

AIPAC, Take 2: Tell Congress to stop this Iran agreement.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/unesco-postponing-jewish-connection-to-israel-exhibit-to-june/2014/01/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: