NEW YORK – The Queens Museum, which had agreed earlier this summer to host a reenactment of the UN’s 1947 vote on the partition of Palestine, scheduled for November 29, has informed the Israeli Mission to the UN that it will not do so after all.
The event, initiated by UN Ambassador Danny Danon, was intended to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the historic vote in its original place: the main gallery of the museum, which hosted the UN General Assembly back then.
Finding the original hall in which the Partition Plan was adopted was a key element of the organization of the event, Danon told The Jerusalem Post last month. Danon’s team planned to redesigned the hall to appear in its original state.
According to the Israeli Mission, a museum official informed them by email in June that they had reserved the appropriate hall and were “looking forward to a wonderful and meaningful event in its natural setting.”
Preparations for the event had begun, but as news outlets made the plans public, the same museum official begun expressing concerns about feedback received from “Palestinian friends of the museum.”
After weeks of no communication with the Israeli Mission, President and Executive Director Laura Raicovich notified Danon this week that she was reversing the decision.
In her note, Raicovich cited a board decision not to hold a “political event.”
Danon responded Wednesday saying that the decision was blatant discrimination against Israel and that he will not let the decision stand.
“Celebrating the momentous decision of the UN recognizing the right to a Jewish state in our homeland is not a political event, but rather an expression of the historical and legal rights of our people,” he said.
Following an investigation by Danon’s staff, it was found that Raicovich has an anti-Israel background: She is the editor of the book Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency and Cultural Production.
In its online description of the book, the publisher states that “boycott and divestment are essential tools for activists around the globe.”
Raicovich included an essay titled “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: Reasons to Support BDS,” which justifies and endorses the movement’s actions against Israel.
“It is unacceptable for BDS activists to single out Israel and ban our event,” Danon said.
The ambassador called on the Board of Directors of the Queens Museum to immediately dismiss Raicovich from her position and honor their commitment to hold the event this fall.