Palestine House

Palestine House

June 25, 2009 15:08 ET

Palestine House Calls to Boycott the Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibition at the ROM

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 25, 2009) - It is of deep concern to Palestine House that the ROM has shown no interest in establishing to Palestine House and to the public that the ROM's involvement with the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit is consistent with the highest of ethical and legal standards. Indeed, the ROM's reticence to release its legal opinion document, tends to confirm Palestine House's suspicion that it only presents contortions of law leading to a suggestion that the ROM can probably get away with displaying the artifacts looted by Israel from the Palestine Archaeological Museum. This is not the ethical or legal standard Canadians expect of the ROM.

Palestine House understands that the ROM hopes to profit from the increase in attendance, revenue and profile associated with the exhibit. So does the State of Israel. The Israeli Consul General in Toronto has stated that the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit is part of Israel's attempt to "rebrand" itself. As such, Israel seeks to improve its image in the wake of its massive violations of international conventions and law through the exhibition of artifacts it looted in violation of international conventions and law. Israel's public relations project is made possible with the ROM's complicity and collaboration.

Palestine House believes that the ROM's suggestion of convening a Palestinian cultural event is one that should be discussed further. However, Palestine House does not support the convening of any Palestinian cultural event at or in association with the ROM during the period in which the Dead Sea Scrolls are on display at the ROM. This is to ensure that no one can draw a mistaken impression that the Palestinian Canadian community is complicit in or has consented to the display of these looted artifacts.

There remains an unfortunate impression that the ROM is profiting from its involvement with a collection of archeological artifacts acquired by Israel in violation of international conventions and law. As such, and to address this issue, Palestine House boycotts the exhibition unless that ROM admits the factual history, that these scrolls are Palestinain property.

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