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UN Censors Israel Matters Exhibit

April 6, 2016

“The day of the LORD is near for all nations.  As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head.”  (Obadiah 1:15)

On Monday, the United Nations partially reversed a decision to censor the Israel Matters exhibit at its New York headquarters.

Zionism, Israel Matters, United Nations

UN officials reversed a decision Monday on the Zionism panel in the Israel Matters exhibit, which was prepared by the Israeli Mission to the UN and StandWithUs.

Over the weekend, the UN decided that three panels of a multifaceted visual display on Israel were not fit for endorsement: a panel on Zionism; a panel on the equal status of Arab Israelis; and a panel on Jerusalem.

The decision regarding the Zionism panel was reversed after Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon disputed its “outrageous decision.”

“By censoring displays on Zionism, the UN undermines the very existence of the State of Israel as the home of the Jewish people,” Danon said.  “We won’t allow the UN to censor the fact Jerusalem is Israel’s eternal capital.”

“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,” he stated.

StandWithUs, which created the Israel Matters campaign, added in an April 3 Facebook post, “This display was meant to educate and share Israel’s inspirational story, but again the UN has exposed [its] deep [bias] against the State of Israel.”

The censored Zionism poster on “the return of an indigenous people” states: “Zionism is the liberation movement of the Jewish people, who sought to overcome 1,900 years of oppression and regain self-determination in their indigenous homeland.”

“For 2,000 years, after being conquered and dispossessed by the Romans, Jews yearned to return to the land of Israel, join those who were already there (or never left), and restore their independence,” it says.  “In the 1980s Theodor Herzl adapted this dream to progressive political ideals and founded the modern Zionist movement.  This led to the reestablishment of Israel in 1948.”

Israeli Arabs,equality, Israel Matters, StandWithUs

Israeli Arabs, who make up nearly 20 percent of Israel’s population, enjoy the same rights as Jewish citizens of Israel. Captioned images of Arab Israelis in the display include Joint Arab List party leader MK (Parliament Member) Ayman Odeh, singer Lina Makhoul, Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran, news anchor Lucy Aharish and Haifa Medical School valedictorian Mais Ali-Saleh.

The two remaining censored posters in the 13-piece exhibit include a display on Israeli Arabs, which states that they are “equal citizens under the law in Israel, the only proven democracy in the Middle East.”

The poster shows images of smiling Arab men, women and children; the pictures include Arab children reading in school and Arab soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), including Major General of the IDF Yusef Mishleb.

“Israeli Arabs are the largest minority in Israel, making up 20 percent of Israel’s population,” the poster elaborates.   “As citizens they have the same rights as Jewish Israelis.  They live, study, and work side by side with Jews in communities all over the country.   They also serve in the Israeli Parliament, vote in all elections, and enrich Israel’s diverse culture.”

The display on Jerusalem describes the city as “the spiritual and physical capital of the Jewish people.”

“The Jewish people are indigenous to Israel and have maintained a continuous presence in the land since 1,000 BCE.  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.”

Using photos, the poster highlights the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and Modern Jerusalem, as well as Jews praying at the Western Wall in the 1870s — historical photographic evidence of Jerusalem’s spiritual importance to Jews prior to the formation of the State of Israel.

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