New York’s Queens Museum has apparently joined the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, rescinding its agreement to host the official celebration of the 1947 United Nations resolution leading to the creation of the State of Israel, after already having committed to house the event.
In response, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, (who initiated the event) called for the dismissal of the Museum’s director, Laura Raicovich.
In celebration of the 70th anniversary of UN General Assembly Resolution 181 (November 29, 1947) recommending the establishment of the Jewish state in the Land of Israel, Israel’s Mission to the UN had decided to hold an event in the original UN hall where the vote took place.
The building structure, owned by the City of New York, today houses the Queens Museum, which describes itself as a “public museum.”
In June, a Museum official informed Israel’s Mission to the UN that they had reserved the appropriate hall and were looking “forward to a wonderful and meaningful event in its natural setting.”
Preparations for the event commenced with invitations to senior UN officials, ambassadors and key dignitaries. More than a dozen pro-Israel organizations had already committed to partnering with the Israeli Mission.
Then, as word of the event became public, the same Museum official expressed concern about feedback they received from “Palestinian friends of the museum.”
After weeks of ceasing to communicate with the Israel Mission, President and Executive Director Laura Raicovich notified Danon that she was reversing the decision and would no longer agree to host the event. Raicovich cited a board decision not to hold a “political event.”
“We will not accept this blatant discrimination against the State of Israel and we will not let this decision stand,” said Danon. “Celebrating the momentous decision of the UN recognizing the right to a Jewish state in our homeland is not a political event, but rather an expression of the historical and legal rights of our people,” he declared.
The publisher of Assuming Boycott states that “Boycott and divestment are essential tools for activists around the globe.” Included in Raicovich’s anthology is an article titled “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: Reasons to Support BDS,” in which she justifies and endorses the movement’s actions against Israel.
“It is unacceptable for BDS activists to single out Israel and ban our event,” Danon said, calling on the Board of Directors of the Queens Museum to dismiss Ms. Raicovich from her position immediately and honor their commitment to hold the event.