UN censors exhibit on Israel set for NY headquarters

(JTA) – The United Nations (UN) censored an exhibition about Israel set to go on display at the organization’s headquarters in New York.

Three of the 13 panels in the exhibition “Israel Matters,” which is set to open Monday, will be deleted, the UN decided over the weekend. The censored panels deemed “inappropriate” are on the subjects of Zionism, Jerusalem and Arab-Israelis.

The exhibit was created by Israel’s permanent mission to the United Nations with the organization StandWithUs.

Israel’s UN 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 UN 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 UN to censor the fact that Jerusalem is Israel’s eternal capital.”

He added: “The UN 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 centre 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.”

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.”

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