The Simon Wiesenthal Center announced that its joint exhibition with UNESCO, “Book, People, Land — The 3500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People With the Holy Land,” will open on June 11, 2014, at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.
The date was confirmed in an exchange of letters between Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO and Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean, Simon Wiesenthal Center.
“It was simply ludicrous for the 22 Arab states that belong to UNESCO to attempt to torpedo the exhibition, just days before its opening, on the grounds that it interferes with Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to jumpstart the Middle East peace process,” said said Rabbi Hier. “Our exhibition, vetted and approved by both the UNESCO and Wiesenthal Center’s teams, had nothing to do with the peace process.”
Hier also said, “It was not a political statement that belongs to an individual or a party, but simply the collective narrative of the Jewish People — religious, secular, left and right — and their three and a half millennia relationship to the Holy Land. It is precisely that narrative that the Arab League did not want the world to know about.”