Ex­hi­bi­tion will be ‘tool to com­bat prej­u­dice’

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY JENNI FRAZER

AN EX­HI­BI­TION de­tail­ing the mil­len­nia-long links be­tween the Jewish peo­ple and the land of Is­rael is due to open next week in the House of Com­mons.

But as Shi­mon Sa­muels, di­rec­tor for in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions at the Si­mon Wiesen­thal Cen­tre — which has brought the ex­hi­bi­tion to Lon­don — ex­plained, Peo­ple, Book, Land is no or­di­nary ex­hi­bi­tion. In­stead, Dr Sa­muels says, it is part of “the fight­back against the theft of the Jewish nar­ra­tive” by the Pales­tini­ans. Since the Pales­tini­ans joined the Paris­based Unesco in 2011, he says they have made con­sis­tent at­tempts to “re­claim” world her­itage sites.

The Wiesen­thal Cen­tre is the only Jewish or­gan­i­sa­tion ac­cred­ited to the Unesco World Her­itage Com­mit­tee, and has re­peat­edly lob­bied against Pales­tinian bids to re­des­ig­nate Jewish and Chris­tian her­itage sites, from Beth­le­hem’s Church of the Na­tiv­ity to the des­ig­na­tion of Rachel’s Tomb and He­bron’s Cave of the Pa­tri­archs as mosques.

The lat­est move — due to be de­bated Peo­ple, Book, Land ex­hi­bi­tion in April — is to claim the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Qum­ran caves where they were found, as Pales­tinian her­itage.

Dr Sa­muels says Peo­ple, Book, Land, whose con­tent was writ­ten by the late Pro­fes­sor Robert Wistrich in 2010, traces the 3,500-year re­la­tion­ship be­tween the Jews and the land of Is­rael.

“It is a tool to com­bat prej­u­dice and iden­tity theft,” he ex­plains. Its 24 pan­els tell the Jewish story, from Abra­ham and Moses to Is­rael as the “start-up na­tion”.

Af­ter a week in Par­lia­ment, the ex­hi­bi­tion will move to Lon­don’s JW3 cen­tre.

Telling the Jewish story: ex­am­ples of the pan­els from the

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