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Queens Museum’s Israel Independence re-enactment back on

Queens Museum has cancelled the 70th Anniversary reenactment of the U.N vote to establish Israel as an independent state.
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After elected officials expressed outrage, the Queens Museum has decided not to cancel a re-enactment of the 1947 United Nations Vote on Israel Independence scheduled for November.

The main gallery of the Queens Museum was the site of the original United Nations General Assembly vote on November 29, 1947, establishing Israel as an independent state. According to Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest), the re-enactment was being organized by the Israeli government, which reserved the space for November 2017.

Lancman said that, according to a Jerusalem Post article, the museum decided against hosting the event after plans for were made public, citing opposition from “Palestinian friends of the museum.”

Lancman and Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz (D-Flushing) blasted the “anti-Semitic” decision by the museum Wednesday and called for a NYC Human Rights Commission investigation to have the re-enactment reinstated.

A few hours later Queens Museum said the event was back on.

“After a productive conversation with Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon, the Queens Museum will work with the Israeli Mission on the proposed commemoration of the 1947 vote,” the museum said in a statement. “We are deeply committed to all the communities we serve through our meaningful arts programming and we are looking forward to making this a successful event.”

Lancman and Simanowitz had demanded that the Board of the Queens Museum immediately remove Raicovich from her position. They also called on the NYC HRC to investigate this decision as a violation of Title 8 of the NYC Administrative Code, also known as the City Human Rights Law.

According to Lancman, the decision by the museum, a public accommodation, had represented a discriminatory refusal to provide full and equal enjoyment of its services based on religion and national origin, both protected classes under the law, as well as an unlawful boycott.

“We are deeply troubled that the museum’s executive director and president, Laura Raicovich, let her own personal support for the The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement infect her decision making in this matter,” Lancman and Simanowitz said in a joint statement. “The celebration of the vote establishing the state of Israel is a recognition of a historic turning point at the site of the Queens Museum, and is profoundly meaningful to New York’s Jewish community. She has abused the trust placed in her by the people of the City of New York, who fund the museum as a cultural representation of Queens, the most diverse county in the United States.”

Lancman also claimed that Raicovich previously edited a book of essays, “Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency and Cultural Production,” which included an essay praising a movement to boycott Israel.

Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) also chimed in, calling the decision by the museum bizarre and said that the project is a celebration of a key piece of Queens history.

“Personally I do not see how this project is ‘political,’ ” Meng said. “How is commemorating a major world event that took place in Queens and the U.N.’s establishment of one of America’s closest allies political? The museum and Israeli Mission already agreed to this reenactment of the U.N. vote, and planning for it was well underway before the museum backtracked. The museum should reverse its decision and allow the event to take place as scheduled.”

Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmartinez@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

Posted 2:24 pm, August 17, 2017
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Reader feedback

anon35 from queens says:
This is the history of Israel becoming a state. Ben Gurion's grandson much be totally upset to hear this. Time for her resignation. She is inept at her job!!!!
Aug. 17, 2017, 1:48 am
Disgusting from Queens says:
The vile left's anti-semitism is hardly ever condemned. Disgusting!!!!
Aug. 17, 2017, 9:40 am
New Yorker from Queens says:
Boycott the museum!
Aug. 17, 2017, 10 am
Truth is Justice from College Point says:
Well, she should do the re-enactment, BUT, if we're going to do a re-enactment of the vote to create Israel, we should also do a re-enactment of the people in that area who were displaced and had their homes and land stolen from them to accommodate the state of Israel.
Aug. 17, 2017, 11:13 am
History lesson from queens says:
Israel did not steal land or push out people when Britain partitioned Israel. Muslim people who did not want a Jewish homeland have worked since the '40s to destabilize Israel by encouraging violence and riling up those who would have otherwise adapted to a new government in the region. No Muslim country ever volunteered to take the people who they claim were pushed out.
Aug. 17, 2017, 2:15 pm
anon25 from queens says:
Looks like it's going to happen...the reenactment, that is....according to Melinda Katz. But resignation still needs to happen.
Aug. 18, 2017, 6:54 pm

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