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Israel's U.N. ambassador protests 'anti-Semitic' museum

WASHINGTON – Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations says the head of New York City’s Queens Museum is anti-Semitic and is demanding she be fired for her involvement in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement against Israel.

And for her decision to renege on an agreement for an event to honor the 1947 United Nations Resolution that created Israel.

Israel’s ambassador, Danny Danon, said the anti-Jewish attitude by Laura Raichovich, the executive director of Queen’s Museum, was uncovered when the museum abruptly reversed an agreement that had the Israeli mission to the U.N. renting the facility for the 70th anniversary of the U.N. resolution.

The Queens museum building housed the U.N. headquarters assembly in 1947, where the vote leading to the establishment of the state of Israel took place.

For the anniversary, the museum agreed in June to host an event in the original U.N. hall where the vote took place.

Senior U.N. officials, ambassadors, key dignitaries and a dozen pro-Israel organizations were invited to attend.

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Danon explained to the Jerusalem Post Wednesday that rental arrangement was agreed upon in June for the Nov. 29 event.

At that time, museum officials confirmed they had reserved the appropriate hall and were looking “forward to a wonderful and meaningful event in its natural setting.”

Then, however, the museum reneged.

Officials said suddenly they were concerned about criticism from “Palestinian friends of the museum,” and they rescinded their agreement.

Raichovich claimed to Danon that her decision to backtrack was the result of a board decision not to hold a “political event.”

But Danon issued a statement Wednesday accusing Raichovich of anti-Semitism.

“We will not accept this blatant discrimination against the state of Israel and we will not let this decision stand,” Danon said. “Celebrating the momentous decision of the U.N. recognizing the right to a Jewish state in our homeland is not a political event, but rather an expression of the historical and legal rights of our people.”

An investigation by Danon’s staff then revealed Raichovich’s history of standing against Israel’s sovereignty, he noted.

In fact, she is the editor of a book which endorses international sanctions against Israel, titled “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: Reasons to Support BDS,” he said.

The museum’s board should immediately terminate Raichovich and affirm their earlier agreement to hold the event this fall, Danon contends.

Queens Museum officials told New York Post Wednesday they are reconsidering the decision given that the building is the original site of the U.N. hall where Israel was created.

“While the Queens Museum has specific policies regarding space rentals, given the history of the building in which the Queens Museum is located, the museum is reconsidering its decision and has reached out to the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations to further discuss the event later today,” a spokeswoman said.

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