Workers at Seattle Museum Protest Show, Accusing It of ‘Platforming Zionist Ideology’ - The World News

Workers at Seattle Museum Protest Show, Accusing It of ‘Platforming Zionist Ideology’

A group of workers at the Wing Luke Museum in Seattle led a walkout last week, accusing a current exhibition at the institution of falsely comparing antisemitism to anti-Zionism.

On social media, the workers, posting as a collective entity under a Palestine-themed account, said the show exemplified the “significant negative impact that platforming Zionist ideology has on our communities.”

According to the Seattle Times, 26 workers, or about half of the museum’s staff, participated in the walkout at the institution, which focuses on the art and history of Asian Pacific Americans. Their protest happened during Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

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The workers were protesting “Confronting Hate Together,” a show that was supposed to open next week. It was staged in collaboration with the Black Heritage Society of Washington State and the Washington State Jewish Historical Society, and was to focus on forms of hatred directed at the local Black, Jewish, and Asian communities.

Much of the protest centered around a picture of wall texts that appeared in a KUOW profile of the exhibition published ahead of the show’s opening last week. That text began, “Today antisemitism is often disguised as anti-Zionism.” It went on to refer to a phrase graffitied in November onto the Herzl-Ner Tamid temple in Mercer Island, Washington: “Stop Killing,” which the text misquoted as “Stop the killing” and said was graffitied “as if the Jews of Mercer Island could control the actions of the Israeli government.”

The text also said, “On university campuses, pro-Palestinian groups have voiced support for Hamas (which is classified as a terrorist organization by the U.S. government) and a Palestinian state stretching ‘from the river to the sea,’ a phrase defined by the erasure of Israel.”

The workers called on the museum to dispense with language and partnerships that “attempt to frame Palestinian liberation and anti-Zionism as antisemitism,” and that the institution the “acknowledge limited perspectives” within the exhibition, which the workers claimed had excluded Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims.

“As an organization rooted in dialogue, we acknowledge and support the right of our staff to express their beliefs and personal truths and to this end, we are holding space for a careful and thoughtful process of listening with intent to hear multiple perspectives in pursuit of a mutual way forward,” the museum wrote in a statement posted to social media over the weekend.

As of Tuesday morning, the Wing Luke Museum remained closed.

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