B’nai B’rith International sent a letter to the Queens Museum, dismayed over the cancellation of an event marking the 70th anniversary of the passage of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181, which endorsed the establishment of a Jewish state.
The museum’s leaders, after initially endorsing the program, have now reversed their decision, saying that they didn’t want to hold a “political event.”
In their letter, B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin write: “The event, however, is not openly political in nature, but rather a historical re-enactment and a celebration of that momentous vote which was an important step in the establishment of the State of Israel.”
They continued: “Moreover, the Queens Museum has hosted a number of exhibitions and events that could be interpreted as political in nature. Museums play an important role in transmitting to the public displays on culture and history, sometimes necessarily of a political nature. We respect and honor that role that museums play in our larger society. We question, though, why that respect is not also afforded to Jewish history.”
To read the full letter click here.
UPDATE: Since we sent our letter, the museum has now reversed its decision and will allow the event to move forward.