Organizers of an international women’s charity event in the Bulgarian capital ordered the Israeli representatives to remove a picture of the Western Wall, acquiescing to the Palestinian delegation’s demand.
By: Jack Ben-David
Tensions at the International Women’s Club (IWC) in the Bulgarian capital between the Israeli and Palestinian representatives were stoked by the latter’s display of a map of Israel labeled “Palestine” and placards demanding that the UK issue an apology for the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which formalized Britain’s commitment to establishing a Jewish national home in Mandatory Palestine.
The Israelis demanded that the offensive content from the Palestinian stall be removed from the exhibits. The Palestinian representatives then urged the event’s planners to have the Israelis remove a picture of Jerusalem’s Western Wall, which they insisted was located on occupied land.
Defying the order, the enraged Israeli delegation decided not to fully remove the photo, instead turning it around and writing a message on the back, slamming the insertion of politics into what should have been an apolitical event.
“Sorry, the Wailing Wall was removed by the IWC request. Less charity, more politics,” the Israeli representatives scrawled on the back for passersby to see.
Upon hearing of the incident, Israel filed an official complaint against the IWC, which holds its gatherings in different locations around the world.
According to Israeli Ambassador to Bulgaria Irit Lillian, many people came to “show their support for the step we took and took pictures.”