After an angry outcry from the Israeli Mission and elected officials, the Queens Museum has agreed to allow a reenactment of the United Nations vote to create the state of Israel, which took place at the historic site 70 years ago.
The museum faced a backlash after canceling the event. Some elected officials lobbed charges of anti-Semitism and claimed the museum had bent to complaints from the Palestinian community.
“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 released Wednesday night. “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.”
Museum executive director Laura Raicovich co-edited the book “Assuming Boycott: Resistance, Agency and Cultural Production,” which discusses the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Danon and other elected officials said her support for BDS influenced her decision making.
“We welcome this step by the Museum to rectify their earlier unfortunate decision,” Danon said in a statement. “Any attempt to discriminate against Israel is completely unacceptable and we will continue to fight against such injustices.”
The museum’s original decision to cancel the event brought a chorus of outrage from elected officials, including U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, Assemb. Michael Simanowitz and City Council members Rory Lancman and Elizabeth Crowley.
The museum was originally the New York City Pavilion, built for the 1939 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. It temporarily housed the United Nations General Assembly from 1946 to 1950.