UN cancels Jewish exhibit at last minute on Arab complaints
The exhibit, entitled “People, Book, Land – The 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People and the Land of Israel," was created jointly by the Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, and was scheduled to open Jan. 20 at UNESCO's Paris headquarters. But less than a week before it was to open, UNESCO informed the SWC is was canceling it because the Arab League had claimed the exhibit “could create potential obstacles related to the peace process in the Middle East,” the U.S.-based Jewish newspaper The Algemeiner reported.
Invitations had already gone out, and the fully prepared exhibition material was already in place, the paper reported. The display was co-sponsored by Israel, Canada and Montenegro. Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Wiesenthal Center, called the move was an “absolute outrage.”
“The Arabs don’t want the world to know that the Jews have a 3,500-year relationship to the Land of Israel.”- Rabbi Marvin Hier, Simon Wiesenthal Center
In a letter to Irina Bokova, president of UNESCO, Abdulla al Neaimi, from the United Arab Emirates, expressed “deep worry and great disapproval” over the program showing the age old connection between Israel and the Jewish people.