Netanyahu Slams UNESCO for Canceling Jewish Exhibit

UN cultural agency canceled exhibition on the Jewish presence in the land of Israel following pressure by Arab states.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the UN's cultural agency for canceling an exhibit on Jewish connections to the Holy Land.

UNESCO said last week it delayed the exhibition after Arab member states said it could disrupt Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. The UN agency said it also needed extra time to revise historical claims in the exhibit that member states could consider "contestable."

The exhibition "won't hurt the negotiations. Negotiations based on fact, on the truth will never be hurt," Netanyahu told his cabinet in Jerusalem Sunday.

What did hurt the negotiations was the "one-sided stance" of certain states against Israel, he charged.

Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a U.S. Jewish group that co-organized the exhibit, said UNESCO had already approved the exhibit and mounted it at UNESCO's Paris headquarters.

U.S. ambassador to the UN Samantha Power has called on UNESCO to open the exhibit.