SWC Welcomes U.S. Statement Condemning UNESCO'S Abrupt Cancellation of Co-Organized Exhibition


"UNESCO's decision is wrong and should be reversed ... . The United States has engaged at senior levels to urge UNESCO to allow this exhibit to proceed as soon as possible.  UNESCO is supposed to be fostering discussion and interaction between civil society and member states, and organizations such as the Wiesenthal Center have a right to be heard and to contribute to UNESCO's mission."

- U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power (pictured) as quoted in Reuters News Agency (story below)

 "The Simon Wiesenthal Center welcomes Ambassador Samantha Power's statement condemning UNESCO's abrupt cancellation of the exhibition on the 3,500 year relationship of the Jewish people to the Holy Land due to a last minute protest by the 22-nation Arab Group at UNESCO. The exhibition, two years in the making, was a joint project of UNESCO and the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The exhibition was already positioned in the UNESCO exhibit hall, and invitations were mailed out, when it was cancelled because the Arab Group claimed it would interfere with Secretary of State Kerry's Middle East mission. The fact that Ambassador Power issued her statement shows that the United States feels that the exhibition in no way intereferes with Secretary Kerry's mission. 

                 - Rabbi Marvin Hier, Simon Wiesenthal Center Founder and Dean 


U.S. chides UNESCO for putting Jewish exhibit on hold

(Reuters) - The United States on Friday criticized UNESCO, the U.N.'s cultural arm, for postponing an exhibition about Jews and the Holy Land due to complaints from Arab member states. <<continue reading>>

Jewish group slams 'outrageous' UNESCO show postponement

... “The last role that UNESCO should ever assume for itself is to be a place of censorship. As a result of this postponement of this exhibit, they have become censors, rather than an institution that invites new ideas,” said Rabbi Hier ... <<continue reading>> 

U.S. presses UNESCO on cancellation of Jews in Israel exhibit

January 17, 2014

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Obama administration is “deeply disappointed” with a decision by UNESCO, the United Nation’s cultural arm, to cancel the opening of an exhibition on the Jewish presence in the land of Israel and is seeking its placement “as soon as possible.” <<continue reading>>

Also see: State Department declined to sponsor canceled Israel UNESCO exhibit

The Simon Wiesenthal Center will be holding press conferences at 11:00am on Monday, January 20, 2014 in both Paris and Los Angeles.  More information...
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