UN allows Israel exhibit to include censored panel on Zionism

NEW YORK (JTA) – An exhibition on Israel at the United Nations headquarters will include a panel on Zionism, one of three that the international body had previously deemed “inappropriate.”

Calling the reinstated panel a “clear win for Israeli diplomacy and a victory for the truth about Israel,” Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, in a news release Monday urged the UN to “now reverse its decision to censor the other elements and allow all the panels to be exhibited.”

The two other censored panels address the topics of Jerusalem and Arab citizens of Israel.

The exhibition, created by the organization StandWithUs in partnership with Israel’s permanent mission to the UN, opened Monday morning, originally without the three banned panels.

Later in the day, after the UN reversed its decision, the Zionism panel was reinstated in the exhibit. The panel defines Zionism as “the liberation movement of the Jewish people, who sought to overcome 1,900 years of oppression and regain self-determination in their indigenous homeland.”

The unapproved 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 per cent of Israel’s population” and says they are “equal citizens under the law in Israel.”

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