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Message from Rabbi Scott White

(Editor’s note: This message, written by Rabbi Scott White, was originally published in Congregation Ohev Sholom’s weekly email blast to the congregation on Monday, Jan. 20.)

(Monday night) was to have marked the opening at UNESCO’s Paris headquarters of an exhibition, “People, Book, Land — The 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People to the Holy Land.” But last Tuesday (Jan. 14), UNESCO canceled the exhibition in the wake of protest from the Arab League claiming that “the exhibition could create potential obstacles related to the peace process in the Middle East.”

Why are we not surprised? After all, in 1975 the U.N. adopted a resolution equating Zionism with racism. It stood on the books for 16 years. Just one example of many when that august body singled out Israel, while turning a blind eye to real atrocities being committed in various countries belonging to its club.

What is not to be expected, however, is for our own country to jump on the bandwagon. Yet, here is a segment from a State Department letter rescinding U.S. sponsorship of opening night. “At this sensitive juncture in the ongoing Middle East peace process, and after thoughtful consideration with review at the highest levels, we have made the decision that the United States will not be able to co-sponsor the current exhibit during its display at UNESCO headquarters.”

Read it and weep.