UNESCO Exhibition on Jewish History in Middle East

In addition to the meeting with Hollande, the UNESCO exhibit on Jewish history and presence in the Holy Land finally sees the light of day (Canada led campaign to save exhibition on Jewish history in Middle East after Arab coalition quashed it):

Meanwhile, Cotler was effusive in his description of the Wistrich exhibit, which he called “historic.”

“It is a remarkable dramatization of history and heritage, of people, book, land, memory and state,” he said.

In 24 panels, it traces Jewish history back to the patriarch Abraham, through Moses, King David and all the way through to the struggle for Soviet Jewry, the birth of Zionism and the reconstitution of the State of Israel.

The exhibit, which will run for nine days, had been scheduled to open last January. Pressure from 22 Arab countries, who argued it would prejudice the peace process, prompted UNESCO to cancel it.

Responding to that decision Rabbi Hier stated, “It is ironic, that while the Arab League was trying to kill this exhibition and all the attention was focused on Paris, the UN headquarters in New York is hosting an exhibit entitled, Palestine, based entirely on the Arab narrative, which was not criticized as an interference with Secretary [John] Kerry’s mission.”

Following public criticism from Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird and U.S envoy Samantha Power, the exhibit was rescheduled to open last week, but with the name “Israel” removed from the title and replaced with “Holy Land.” UNESCO also required the removal of an image of the Dead Sea Scrolls, which had been part of the initial exhibit prepared by Wistrich, a professor of European and Jewish history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Hollande’s stand on anti-Semitism impresses delegation | The Canadian Jewish News.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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