Queens Museum reinstates event to mark 1947 UN vote on Israel

Angry over the cancellation made under Palestinian pressure to ‘boycott’ Israel, calls for the ouster of the museum’s director led to the returned agreement to host an event marking the 70th anniversary since the United Nations approved Israel’s establishment.

By the Associated Press


Israel and a New York City museum have made peace after an event marking the 70th anniversary of the nation’s founding was canceled, then placed back on the schedule.

Danny Danon – Photo: UN

Statements from the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations and the Queens Museum both say a ceremony will be held as planned November 29.

“The Queens Museum will work with the Israeli Mission on the proposed commemoration of the 1947 vote,” a spokeswoman 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.”

Before becoming a museum, the site was the temporary home to the United Nations General Assembly. It initially was built as an exhibition hall for the 1939 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows Park and is near the United States Tennis Center that is home to the US Open.

Plaque outside the Museum commemorating the UN General Assembly meeting on the site from 1946-1950. – Public Domain

A 1947 vote there partitioned the Holy Land into separate Jewish and Arab states.

The Israelis and the museum initially agreed on holding the celebration in June. But Danny Danon, the Israeli ambassador to the UN, said museum officials later reneged, citing feedback from Palestinian supporters, as well as concerns it would be seen as a political event.

Danon seethed about the cancellation and called for the ouster of the museum’s director.

Following an outcry from elected officials and others, the museum said the event would be held as scheduled.

Danon then issued a statement applauding the museum’s decision.

“Any attempt to discriminate against Israel is completely unacceptable and we will continue to fight against such injustices,” he said. “We look forward to proudly celebrating this historic UN decision.”

Evan R. Bernstein, New York regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, also said he was pleased with the museum’s decision to reverse course.

“The UN vote was an incredible milestone for Jews around the world, including and especially here in New York, where the historic event took place,” he said.


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