Founder Of LA’s Simon Wiesenthal Center Blasts UNESCO For Pulling Jewish Exhibit

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The founder of Los Angeles’ Simon Wiesenthal Center lashed out at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization about the cancellation of a Paris exhibit that deals with the historical Jewish ties to the Middle East.

Rabbi Marvin Hier called UNESCO’s decision to pull the exhibit, entitled “People, Book, Land –The 3,500-Year Relationship of the Jewish People with the Holy Land,”—“outrageous.”

Founder Of LA’s Simon Wiesenthal Center Blast’s UNESCO For Pulling Jewish Exhibit

“The exhibition arrived in Paris. It was actually mounted in the exhibition hall,” Hier said. “The invitations were sent out and at 9 p.m. on January 14th here in Los Angeles, we were informed by UNESCO that due to a protest by the Arab group, which consists of 22 Arab nations, that said that our exhibit would interfere with Secretary (John) Kerry’s peace mission, therefore, they objected to it being exhibited and they wanted it removed.”

Hier said he told UNESCO’s director general that by delaying the exhibit, she’s taking sides.

“First of all, UNESCO is a place of ideas, of culture, of an exchange of ideas. If the only idea welcome in UNESCO is the Arab narrative of the history of the Middle East, then they might as well close the building,” Hier said.

The Obama administration, as well as the leaders of Israel and Canada, has also condemned UNESCO’s choice.

Hier said they are in talks to get the exhibit restored and believes it will be open before June.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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