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UN pulls Israeli exhibition claiming Palestinian citizens have equal rights

Israel/Palestine
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The UN removed portions of an Israeli exhibition at the international body’s headquarters in New York this week that alleged Israel’s equal treatment of Palestinian citizens and touted Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, claims deemed by the UN as falling out of line with international law.

Two panels out of 13 in the display were barred as the exhibition launched Monday, in order that it “conform with the purposes and principles” of the UN, Farhan Haq, spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, told Mondoweiss.

Of those removed was a panel entitled “Israeli Arabs: Equal citizens under the law, the only proven democracy in the Middle East.”

"Israeli Arab" panel banned by UN from Israeli exhibition. Photo Credit: Stand With Us twitter feed.

“Israeli Arab” panel banned by UN from Israeli exhibition. Photo Credit: Stand With Us twitter feed.

The panel said Israel’s Palestinian citizens are not only treated the same as Israeli Jews, but also “serve in the Israeli parliament, vote in all elections, and enrich Israel’s diverse culture,” falling in direct contradiction to the recent suspension of three Palestinian members of Knesset and Israeli policies that have long placed Palestinians as second-class citizens.

Another poster removed from the exhibition by the UN referred to Jerusalem as “the spiritual and physical capital of the Jewish people.”

Referring to the poster’s removal, Haq said: “We try to make sure, among other things, that displays are in line with international law, as, for example, regarding the question of Jerusalem.”  Israel’s declaration of Jerusalem as its capital nor its illegal occupation of East Jerusalem since 1967 have been accepted by the majority of the international community as legal.

“We also try to the best of our ability to keep these spaces [UN exhibits for Member States] free from polemics:  While you may promote your country, that should not be done at the expense of others who cannot immediately respond,” Haq added.

Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Danon lambasted the decision to remove the panels as “outrageous” and demanded the UN “apologize to the Jewish people,” during an address to Israeli media delivered the day before the exhibition launched.

While an initial UN decision was made to also discard a panel on Zionism, the panel was returned shortly after what Haq termed a “miscommunication” with the Israeli mission regarding the use of a photo on the panel.

"Jerusalem" panel banned by UN from Israeli exhibition. Photo Credit: Stand With Us twitter feed.

“Jerusalem” panel banned by UN from Israeli exhibition. Photo Credit: Stand With Us twitter feed.

The panel refers to 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 panel fails to mention the 750,000 indigenous Palestinians who were expelled and became refugees during the establishment of Israel, the majority of whom still reside in UN-run refugee camps and now number in the millions.

Following the initial call to remove the panel, a “protest exhibit” was set up featuring the banned panel on Zionism stamped with the word “censored” in large red letters, and the UN later allowed the original panel to be displayed.

The US-based NGO Stand With Us which partook in the exhibition’s development called UN decision to ban the Zionism display an “affront” to Israel.  The group referenced a UN resolution passed 40 years ago equating Zionism with racism, and alleged the UN was abiding by the resolution despite its reversal 16 years later.

Ambassador Danon said the decision to include the Zionism panel was a “clear win for Israeli diplomacy and a victory for the truth about Israel,” according to a statement released by Stand With Us.

“This is a step in the right direction, but the UN must reverse its earlier decision entirely and allow the exhibit to be displayed without censoring the truth about Israel and Jerusalem – the eternal capital of the Jewish people,” Danon said.

"Protest exhibit" placed at the Israeli exhibition at UN headquarters in response to initial ban on "Zionism" panel of display. Photo Credit: Stand With Us.

“Protest exhibit” placed at the Israeli exhibition at UN headquarters in response to initial ban on “Zionism” panel of display. Photo Credit: Stand With Us.

This week’s rift marked the most recent in a long line of disputes to arise between the UN and Israeli leadership regarding Israel’s flagrant violations of international law.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu late last month called any criticism of Israel’s military forces “outrageous and unacceptable,” shortly after the UN slammed the behavior of an Israeli soldier who shot through the head a Palestinian lying wounded on the ground as “gruesome and immoral.”

Weeks prior — following a UN decision to create a database of companies conducting business in illegal Israeli settlements — the PM labelled the UN Human Rights Council  an “anti-Israel circus,” and called on “responsible governments not to honor the decisions of the Council that discriminate against Israel.”

Despite allegations by Israeli leadership that the UN singles out Israel for violations of international law, critics point to the long history of failure by the international community to either enforce or approve UN measures regarding Israel.

UN human rights monitor to the occupied Palestinian territory Makarim Wibisono last month criticized the international community for failing to hold Israel accountable for its rights violations.

“I have been struck by the abundance of information documenting violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, and the seeming inability of the international community to match what is known of the situation with more effective protection of Palestinians,” Wibisono said during his end-of-term address.

About Emily Mulder

Emily Mulder is a journalist based in Bethlehem, Palestine.

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18 Responses

  1. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    April 6, 2016, 1:47 pm

    One of the tweeters I follow had this on their site and I’ve been laughing ever since.

    First it really requires a lot of NERVE to highlight successful Palestinians and then claim that their fortunes are based on Zionism. Then there are the problems with several of the individuals featured. There’s Ayman Odeh, politician, who is now under the gun by that new law that says 90 of his “peers” can get together and boot him out of the Knesset. There’s Justice Joubran, who got into hot water a few years ago because he refused to sing the national anthem. All the Zionist elite were calling for his head then, I guess all is forgiven. And of course how could they leave out the decorative and pliant Lucy Aharish. But even Ms. Aharish has a breaking point because a little while ago, on TV no less, she got into it with a settler and told him that he and people like him have no idea what it’s like to be an Arab in Israel. Seems like the Stand With Us crown doesn’t either.

    Really folks, what is wrong with Stand With Us? I’ve been to their Facebook page and their arguments are all like this: simplistic and infantile, when they’re not racist. Do they really think this level of propaganda is going to work? Pathetic.

  2. Dan From Away
    Dan From Away
    April 6, 2016, 4:25 pm

    The title of this post is inaccurate:

    “UN pulls Israeli exhibition claiming Palestinian citizens have equal rights”

    The UN did not pull the exhibit: they de-selected two posters out of thirteen.

    The exhibit, 11 out of 13 original posters, is up at UN Headquarters and has not been “pulled”.

    Does anyone have clear/complete shots of all the posters in this exhibit? If yes, please post them. We cannot respond to an exhibit we cannot see.

    For the record: In 1983 an exhibit of Palestine posters that was curated by Liberation Graphics was COMPLETELY removed from UN Headquarters lobby after only one day of a planned two week-long exhibiton in NYC and its scheduled follow-u[ hostings in Asia and Europe were cancelled as well:

    http://www.palestineposterproject.org/poster/outcry-shuts-palestinian-poster-show-at-un-new-york-times-1983

    The reason: The Israeli delegate to the UN and US ambassador to the UN Jeanne Kirkpatrick labeled the exhibit “pretty outrageous” and “outrageous”, respectively.

    No opportunity to remove the offending posters was offered by the UN. Apparently if an exhibit is sponsored by organized Zionism its contents are critiqued poster-by-poster by the UN so as to allow the exhibit to remain in place. Palestine not so much.

    See more Zionist posters depicting Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians here:
    http://www.palestineposterproject.org/special-collection/zionistisraeli-posters-depicting-palestiniansmuslimsarabs

    See more anti-Zionist posters here:
    http://www.palestineposterproject.org/special-collection/anti-zionist

    Bertolt Brecht is reputed to have said:

    “Art is not a mirror held up to society but rather a hammer with which to shape it.”

    In what way do these Zionist posters attempt to shape our society?

  3. chocopie
    chocopie
    April 6, 2016, 7:07 pm

    Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Danon lambasted the decision to remove the panels as “outrageous” and demanded the UN “apologize to the Jewish people,” during an address to Israeli media delivered the day before the exhibition launched.

    His statement proves the point of the exhibit’s critics. He’s an Israeli ambassador but he didn’t ask anyone to apologize to the Israeli people. He’s only concerned with the Jewish people, most of whom have nothing to do with Israel.

  4. ritzl
    ritzl
    April 6, 2016, 7:30 pm

    Is that even a Palestinian keffiyeh in the title pix?

    Don’t think it is.

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick
      April 6, 2016, 7:52 pm

      My understanding is that Bedouins wear red keffiyehs.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        April 6, 2016, 8:37 pm

        Thanks, a blah chick. I just thought the pattern was more Jordanian/Saudi, but it’s probably a color and pattern regional continuum.

  5. Marnie
    Marnie
    April 7, 2016, 12:37 am

    Instead of the UN ‘pulling’ israeli exhibition, etc., the UN needs to ‘pull’ israel’s membership to the UN and kick Danon’s square behind back to the infernal capital of the zionists (not al-Quds; some european hell-hole). Because I don’t want to appear to be holding israel up to extraordinary standards and appear lo fair, has any other UN member nation:
    a. Assasinated a UN mediator?
    b. Signed agreements and treaties and proceed to break them all?
    c. Had their leader come to the UN for a stare-down with other members?
    d. Bring cartoon bombs to demonstrate the life-threatening nature of cartoons?

  6. Talkback
    Talkback
    April 7, 2016, 11:54 am

    “Israeli Arabs: Equal citizens under the law, the only proven democracy in the Middle East.”

    Please come to Israel and join us when we destroy a Bedouin village for the n-th time to make Lebensraum for Jews only.

  7. eljay
    eljay
    April 7, 2016, 12:02 pm

    … Israeli Arabs: Equal citizens under the law, the only proven democracy in the Middle East. …

    Yup, it’s the “only proven democracy in the Middle East” that isn’t quite as bad as Saudi Arabia, Mali and African “hell-holes”. Helluva boast.

    … Another poster removed from the exhibition by the UN referred to Jerusalem as “the spiritual and physical capital of the Jewish people.” …

    Not sure what a “physical capital of the Jewish people” is, but it’s nice to see that the poster correctly did not name Jerusalem as the actual capital of Partition-borders Israel.

  8. MaxNarr
    MaxNarr
    April 7, 2016, 3:17 pm

    Censorship can’t win. The truth will always come out. There is nothing but truth in every one of those posters.

    • eljay
      eljay
      April 7, 2016, 4:46 pm

      || MaxNarr: Censorship can’t win. The truth will always come out. … ||

      You’re right: The truth will come out and that will be the beginning of the end of the Thousand Year “Jewish State”.

      And you will be the saddest little Zio-supremacist ever… :-(

      • MaxNarr
        MaxNarr
        April 7, 2016, 5:45 pm

        Not sure what you are talking about but none of us will be here after one thousand years. Your use of quotes is also odd. I find your comments to be really confusing like the rants of an insane man.

      • eljay
        eljay
        April 7, 2016, 10:22 pm

        || MaxNarr: Not sure what you are talking about … ||

        Sure you do.

        || … but none of us will be here after one thousand years. … ||

        No kidding.

        || … Your use of quotes is also odd. … ||

        If you say so.

        || … I find your comments to be really confusing … ||

        That’s because you’re not very bright. :-(

        || … like the rants of an insane man. ||

        That’s funny stuff, coming from you. :-)

      • DaBakr
        DaBakr
        April 7, 2016, 11:26 pm

        @mx

        fyi: the inappropriate block quotes are a reference to the most enthusiastic germans that believed the hype that the aryan nazi 3rd reich would last a 1000 yrs. while i can not think of a prominent zionist off-hand claiming modern israel will last exactly as it is for a 1000 yrs hence forth i can claim with absolute certainty that the nation of israel and its people have lasted for well over 1000yrs going on 5800 actually. and for the past 2000 yrs the ‘return’ to jerusalem has been at its core. and all here know the centuries old cliche about how the jews outlasted the roman, byzantine…all dust now.

        no reason to assume that the jewish connection to israel and jerusalem won’t last another 5000-unless humans destroy the entire planet first. i’d much prefer that israel exist with jerusalem as its eternal capital and the palestinians have their own land and nation where jerusalem is an integral part of their lives and nation. but some nations prefer to fight to the death rather then submit. even if the core belief is ‘submission’ it doesn’t apply to the i/p conflict. so-on it goes.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      April 8, 2016, 6:40 pm

      MaxNarr

      The real “truth” came “out” long ago.

      To be brief:

      Hendrik Verwoerd, then prime minister of South Africa and the architect of South Africa’s apartheid policies, 1961: “The Jews took Israel from the Arabs after the Arabs had lived there for a thousand years [actually for thousands of years.] Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state.” (Rand Daily Mail, November 23, 1961)

      Jacobus Johannes Fouché, South African Minister of Defence during the apartheid era, compared the two states and said that Israel also practiced apartheid.
      (Gideon Shimoni (1980). Jews and Z!onism: The South African Experience 1910-1967. Cape Town: Oxford UP. pp. 310–336. ISBN 0195701798.

      Ronnie Kasrils, key player in the struggle against the former South African apartheid regime, minister for intelligence in the current government and a devout Jew: “The Palestinian minority in Israel has for decades been denied basic equality in health, education, housing and land possession, solely because it is not Jewish. The fact that this minority is allowed to vote hardly redresses the rampant injustice in all other basic human rights. They are excluded from the very definition of the ‘Jewish state’, and have virtually no influence on the laws, or political, social and economic policies. Hence, their similarity to the black South Africans [under apartheid].” (The Guardian, 25 May 2005)

      “Former Foreign Ministry director-general invokes South Africa comparisons. ‘Joint Israel-West Bank’ reality is an apartheid state”
      EXCERPT: “Similarities between the ‘original apartheid’ as it was practiced in South Africa and the situation in ISRAEL [my emphasis] and the West Bank today ‘scream to the heavens,’ added [Alon] Liel, who was Israel’s ambassador in Pretoria from 1992 to 1994. There can be little doubt that the suffering of Palestinians is not less intense than that of blacks during apartheid-era South Africa, he asserted.” (Times of Israel, February 21, 2013)

      Shlomo Gazit, retired IDF Major General: “[Israel’s] legal system that enforces the law in a discriminatory way on the basis of national identity, is actually maintaining an apartheid regime.” (Haaretz, July 19, 2011)

      http://www.haaretz.com/the-racist-entity-that-is-taking-over-israel-must-be-toppled-1.345929
      “The Racist Entity That Is Taking Over Israel Must Be Toppled”
      Haaretz, Feb 27, 2011 by Sefi Rachlevsky
      “…Israel has built a world where the Jews are citizens and the Arabs are not, both in the occupied territories and in Jerusalem; where a Jewish man is a citizen and his Arab neighbor is not. Most Jewish first-graders attend ultra-Orthodox and religious schools. The majority of them are educated along the lines of ‘The King’s Torah.’ A Jew is human. A non-Jew is non-human. ‘Thou shalt not kill’ does not apply to non-Jews. And this is not delivered in the form of incitement, but as a simple statement of a fact. As simple as calling a chair a chair.”

      One example of apartheid within Israel
      http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1134898.html
      Ha’aretz, Dec. 14/09: “Jewish town won’t let Arab build home on his own land ”
      Excerpt: “Aadel Suad first came to the planning and construction committee of the Misgav Local Council in 1997. Suad, an educator, was seeking a construction permit to build a home on a plot of land he owns in the community of Mitzpeh Kamon. The reply he got, from a senior official on the committee, was a memorable one. ‘Don’t waste your time,’ he reportedly told Suad. ‘We’ll keep you waiting for 30 years.'”

      “…EU broadside over plight of Israel’s Arabs”
      EXCERPT: “The confidential 27-page draft prepared by European diplomats… [shows] that Israeli Arabs suffer ‘economic disparities… unequal access to land and housing… discriminatory draft legislation and a political climate in which discriminatory rhetoric and practice go unsanctioned.'” (The Independent, Dec. 27/2011)

      Israel’s 1980 annexation of East Jerusalem was rejected by the UN Security Council in Resolution 476 (June 30, 1980): “all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the OCCUPYING [my emphasis] Power, which purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention”.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        April 8, 2016, 8:06 pm

        Misterioso,

        Congratulations for the review. Brief but powerful. And precise.

  9. Mooser
    Mooser
    April 7, 2016, 9:38 pm

    “Your use of quotes is also odd….like the rants of an insane man”

    You mean his use of quotes to, you know, like, well, quote people? “Odd”, isn’t it?

    (Man oh man, that “MaxNarr”!! He’s still got me guessing. He’s got to be a parody-Zionist right? Nobody could conform to stereotype like that, right? Right?)

    • peanuts
      peanuts
      April 8, 2016, 8:35 pm

      It’s too good, has to be a zio-parody. I honestly can’t get enough of it.

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