UN censors exhibit on Israel at NY headquarters, Israeli diplomat says


(JTA) — The United Nations has censored an exhibition about Israel that went on display at the organization’s headquarters in New York, according to Israel’s diplomatic mission to the United Nations.

Three of the 13 panels in the exhibition “Israel Matters,” had to be deleted, the U.N. reportedly decided over the weekend. The censored panels deemed “inappropriate” are on the subjects of Zionism, Jerusalem and Arab-Israelis.

JTA is awaiting a response from the U.N.

The exhibit was created by Israel’s permanent mission to the U.N. with the organization StandWithUs. The mission received a letter from the United Nations Department of Political Affairs on Friday informing it of the decision to censor the three panels, according to Israel’s diplomatic mission.

The exhibit opened Monday.

Israel’s U.N. ambassador, Danny Danon, has called on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to reverse what he called the “scandalous” decision and allow the panels to be displayed.

“By disqualifying an exhibition about Zionism, the U.N. is undermining the very existence of the State of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people,” Danon said in a statement. “We will not allow the U.N. to censor the fact that Jerusalem is Israel’s eternal capital.”

He added: “The U.N. must reverse this outrageous decision and apologize to the Jewish people. Zionism and Jerusalem are the foundation stones and the moral basis upon which the State of Israel was founded.”

The Jerusalem panel describes the Jewish people as “indigenous to Israel” and states that “Jerusalem has been the center and focus of Jewish life and religion for more than three millennia and is holy to Christians and Muslims as well.”

The panel on Arab-Israelis calls them “the largest minority in Israel, making up 20 percent of Israel’s population” and says they are “equal citizens under the law in Israel.”

The Zionism panel calls it “the liberation movement of the Jewish people, who sought to overcome 1,900 years of oppression and regain self-determination in their indigenous homeland.”

Recommended from JTA