UNESCO sets new opening for Israel exhibit

A new opening has been set for a postponed exhibition — on the Jewish presence in the land of Israel — at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center announced Jan. 28 that its joint exhibition with the cultural arm of the United Nations, titled “Book, People, Land — The 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People with the Holy Land,” will open on June 11 at the U.N. agency’s headquarters in Paris.

In a Jan. 15 letter, UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova told the Wiesenthal Center that the exhibit, organized with the governments of Canada and Montenegro, would be postponed indefinitely. She said the decision arose out of UNESCO’s support for peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The exhibit consists of 30 illustrated panels and explanatory text.

“It was not a political statement that belongs to an individual or a party, but simply the collective narrative of the Jewish People,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Wiesenthal Center, in a statement. “It is precisely that narrative that the Arab League did not want the world to know about.” — jta