Uzbekistan Nixes Yerushalayim Photo Exhibit

YERUSHALAYIM -

The word “Jerusalem” in the title of a photographic exhibition has proved too provocative for Uzbekistan, which banned the show because of it, according to The Times of Israel.

At issue is Israeli photographer Dmitry Brickman’s “Jerusalem is not just a city,” 120 images depicting the broad spectrum of religious and cultural heritages found in the city.

The exhibition, been on world tour, including in Russia and the neighboring Muslim nation of Kazakhstan, but it was too much for Uzbekistan.

The Uzbek foreign ministry said that the show, slated for a hall at the interior ministry in Tashkent, could not go on with Yerushalayim in the title. The controversial nature of Israeli claims to the city, especially following President Donald Trump’s recognition of it as Israel’s capital in December 2017, made it unacceptable.

A foreign ministry official told Ynet that the decision does not reflect any hostility toward Israel, but only the fact that Uzbekistan wished to avoid exacerbating tensions between Israel and the Moslem world.

The Israeli embassy has been trying for the past year and a half to persuade the foreign ministry to change its mind, but to no avail.

Israeli officials finally informed Brickman a few days ago that the Uzbek government could not be budged.

“They told me the exhibit would only go on if I changed the title [to remove the reference to Jerusalem]. I’m not willing to do that under any circumstances — so the exhibit won’t be shown in Uzbekistan,” Brickman told Ynet.

The photographer said he was “angry” that “someone can tell the State of Israel not to use the word Jerusalem. This is an exhibit about peace that encourages tolerance and coexistence. Everywhere I have presented the exhibit I have given lectures on Jerusalem and emphasized how much respect there is for the faithful of the three religions, and how much everyone works to protect this amazing place, which is a single square kilometer in size.”