B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement:
B’nai B’rith International has just learned that the United Nations reversed its decision to censor an exhibition about Zionism. Earlier today, B’nai B’rith sent a letter to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemning the U.N.’s decision to censor the exhibition that focused on Israeli-Arabs, Jerusalem and Zionism. The exhibition was sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Israel, and was displayed at the U.N.’s headquarters in New York. The U.N. originally described those panels as “inappropriate,” and B’nai B’rith is pleased that the U.N. realizes that censorship is not the answer to handling diplomacy.
In the letter, B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman and Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin wrote: “There is nothing inappropriate in pointing out that Israel’s Arab population—a minority that makes up 20 percent of the entire Israeli population—enjoys equal rights as citizens in a vibrant democracy. The rights that Arab citizens of Israel enjoy far exceed those of Arabs in any neighboring country in the Middle East. This is an indisputable fact. It is only a controversial notion for those for whom Israel can do no right.”
Saltzman and Mariaschin also stated that the controversy lies within the U.N, “the real scandal is that the U.N. General Assembly continues to pass, on an annual basis, a resolution that states that Israel’s proclamation of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is, ‘null and void and must be rescinded forthwith.’ No amount of U.N. censorship can change the fact that Jerusalem is as key a capital of the nation-state of the Jewish people as Paris is to France or London is to the United Kingdom.”
They closed by explaining that “the U.N. is once again working to delegitimize Zionism by censoring an exhibit on it. We trust that you will do the right thing and restore the exhibit so it can be complete and cohesive.”