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Queens Museum reinstates Israel event after backlash for its cancellation

The Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Park

Aug. 16, 2017 By Nathaly Pesantez

The Queens Museum has reversed its decision to cancel an event commemorating the United Nations resolution that made way for the founding of Israel after receiving backlash from politicians and other community groups.

The museum released a statement revealing that it spoke with Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the UN who put forth the event commemorating the 1947 UN vote to partition Palestine and create the state of Israel, and agreed for the event to take place once more at the museum, according to AM New York.

StandWithUS, a non-profit Israel education organization and co-sponsor of the event, congratulated the museum for its decision.

“We felt that the museum’s initial decision to cancel was itself a political statement of opposition to justice and human rights for Jews and Israelis,” Shahar Azani, Executive Director of StandWithUs Northeast, said in a statement. “That is why we are so pleased that the event has been reinstated.”

Laura Raicovich, the president and executive director of the Queens Museum, came under scrutiny after the decision to cancel the event when it was discovered that she edited a book due for an October release, “Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency and Cultural Production”, that touches on the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

“The public deserves clarification about whether her personal biases played a role in the initial cancellation of the event,” said Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs.

The reversal came on the same day that reports emerged of the event’s cancellation. A string of politicians, including congresswoman Grace Meng who represents central and northeast Queens, were quick to denounce the Queens Museum’s decision to cancel the event.

The commemoration event was planned by Danny Danon to recognize the 70th anniversary of the resolution passed by the United Nations in 1947 that called for the partitioning of Palestine between Arabs and Jews, and made way for the creation of Israel. The votes were cast in the building that is now the Queens Museum, which once housed the General Assembly of the United Nations from 1946 until 1950.

 

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