web analytics
September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



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.


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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Drone Intercept Along Syrian Border 1
Israel Shoots Down Syrian Sukhoi-24 Fighter Jet In Israeli Airspace
Latest News Stories
Drone Intercept Along Syrian Border 1

The IDF shot down a Syrian fighter jet that infiltrated Israeli air space, using a Patriot missile.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas speaking in Ramallah, July 1, 2014.

PA Chairman Abbas sent a message to Israeli PM Netanyahu in advance of the UN General Assembly: “End the occupation. Make peace.”

Results of missile attack on Ashdod, July 2014. Many of the children in southern Israel still show signs of stress and a significant percentage suffer from trauma due to the rocket attacks they have endured.

PM Netanyahu’s unprecedented NIS 2b development plan for southern Israel was approved Tuesday.

A statement issued by the Frenkel, Yifrach and Sha’ar families thanks Israel for ‘justice served.’

Three wounded Syrians were treated Tuesday at Nahariya’s Western Galilee Medical Center.

Head of the Israeli Navy Ram Rothberg attends a memorial ceremony held at sea by Israeli sailors from the navy’s newest submarine, the INS Tanin. The ceremony was in memory of the personnel of the INS Dakar, which sank 435 km. off the coast of Haifa in 1968. September 21, 2014. 

Syrians on both sides of the civil war responded to Israel’s downing of a Syrian Sukhoi-24 fighter jet Tuesday morning.

PM Netanyahu: Israel fulfilled pledge to track down killers of the three yeshiva boys.

Knesset Speaker Elkin says Israel should hold Hamas terrorist bodies until IDF soldier bodies returned.

The US and allies began bombing ISIS in Syria on Monday despite warnings from Russia and Iran. Washington informed Damascus.

Released for publication: The two Hamas terrorists who kidnapped and killed Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frankel, and Eyal Yifrach have been killed in an overnight security operation.

After 2 days of deliberation by a jury, following a 5 week trial, and 10 years of legal battles, Jordan’s Arab Bank has been found guilty of helping Hamas financially.

ISIS urged all Muslims to kill all non-Muslims, and referred to Kerry as an ‘uncircumcised old Geezer.’

The ISIS spokesman issued a statement that said the coalition led by the United States against ISIS was the “final campaign of the crusaders.”

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
The flag of ISIS

ISIS urged all Muslims to kill all non-Muslims, and referred to Kerry as an ‘uncircumcised old Geezer.’

British Muslims launch social media campaign against ISIS, called #NotInMyName.

Canada will strip citizenship from those who travel abroad to join ISIS or other terrorist groups.

There are IDF officers whose job is to oversee all operations and endeavor to ensure the civilian population is protected.

Yemen, where the ‘Arab Spring’ begun, continues to be mired in turmoil and terror.

Only 30 % of European Jews will attend high holiday services; 1/4 fear wearing Jewish symbols.

This Monday, starting at 4:30 p.m. ET, a rally is taking place on the steps of Lincoln Center. The rally is intended to give a voice and add faces to the ongoing furor over the Metropolitan Opera staging a wildly anti-Semitic opera, “The Death of Klinghoffer.” The opera was first staged in 1991, and is […]

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: