Visitors to Land of Israel museum
Visitors to Land of Israel museumIsrael news photo: Flash 90

An event sponsored by ultra-leftist group Zochrot, which was to be held at the Land of Israel Museum in Ramat Aviv in late September, will probably be scrapped, reported journalist Ishay Fridman. The museum has apparently placed conditions on the event that the organizers are unable to meet, and Zochrot told Fridman that the event will probably not be held at the museum after all. 

"Someone in the museum understood that it is a bit strange to host, on its grounds, an organization that believes the museum itself is a participant in a project of colonialist occupation, and that will feature pro-Palestinian activists, like the Badil organization, for example, which are busy promoting the boycott of the State of Israel, and the initiative for placing IDF officers on trial,” wrote Fridman, who was the first to report the story.

Fridman wrote Tuesday that he still does not possess all of the details of the latest developments, but does not believe the museum has cancelled the event outright. It has, however, placed conditions upon it that Zochrot will find impossible to accept, with the apparent intent of causing it to look for an alternative venue.

The Zionist revival movement Im Tirtzu congratulated the heads of the museum for the decision. After hearing about the planned event, Im Tirtzu had sent a letter to Finance Minister Yair Lapid, asking him to stop funding the museum because of its support for activity against the guiding principles of the state of Israel.

Im Tirtzu Chairman Ronen Shoval said: “The decision by the Museum of the Land of Israel is proper and fitting. There is no place for illegal incitement against Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, in any institute that respects the state's founding principles, as defined in the Scroll of Independence.”

Likud MK Ofir Akunis had also intervened in the matter and asked the Land of Israel Museum to cancel the Zochrot event. The group, which militates in favor of an Arab “return” to villages abandoned in 1948, said that it sees “symbolic value” in the fact that the two-day conference will be held in the Ramat Aviv neighborhood of northern Tel Aviv, noting that the location was once an Arab village called Sheikh Munis.

“The objective of this conference is not to argue whether the Palestinian refugees have a right to return, but to see how this right can be realized. How Return represents for Israelis the chance to stop being occupiers and the opportunity to live in a better place,” says Zochrot's website.