42 Member-States Endorse “People, Book, Land” exhibition at the Council of Europe

Strasbourg, 23 October 2017

The 47 member-states Council of Europe is hosting the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s exhibition, “People, Book, Land: the 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People with the Holy Land.”

The inauguration was attended by the Ambassadors of the 42 States co-sponsors of the exhibition: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, the Republic of Macedonia, Malta, the Republic of Moldova, Monaco, the Republic of Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

It was opened by the Council’s Deputy Secretary-General Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, who spoke of the Jewish contribution to the fabric of European life despite the horrors of the Holocaust and the importance of Europe’s ties to Israel.

She was followed by the Czech Ambassador Emil Ruffer, in his capacity as Chairman of the Committee of Ministers. Both speakers focused on the exhibition’s final panel entitled “A People of Hope.”

The Centre’s Director for International Relations Dr. Shimon Samuels, presented them with a 1st century Judean lamp, to symbolize the persistence of the Jews’ return from every exile to their land. He also noted next week's centenary of the Balfour Declaration, which acknowledges the Jewish right to sovereignty in their “National Home.”

Dr. Graciela Vaserman-Samuels represented the Director General of UNESCO, the exhibitor’s co-organizer. Her message stressed the exhibition as "an invitation to discover the history of the Jewish people in the Holy Land… which had shaped the history of all humanity.”

Rabbi Marvin Hier, Founder and Dean of the Wiesenthal Centre evoked the Prophets’ transmission of their words to humanity emanating only from Jerusalem and the Holy Land.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean and Global Action Director, recounted the exhibition’s worldwide itinerary in his vote of thanks. Several Ambassadors offered their cooperation for its future display in their home capitals.

Samuels stressed “the freeing of slaves by Moses, the seventh day of rest, the role of the Prophet to temper the power of the monarch, as precursors for the rule of law and the values enunciated by the Council of Europe.”

For further information, please contact Shimon Samuels at 0033 609 770 158, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).