WASHINGTON (JTA) — A prominent Jewish umbrella organization rebuked National Geographic for "singling out and negatively portraying the State of Israel" in an exhibit dedicated to water.
The Jewish Community Relations Council sent a letter to National Geographic regarding an exhibition running through June 13 at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Century City, Calif.
The exhibit, "Water: Our Thirsty World," features the work of prominent photographers who examined the world’s "most precious resource through environmental, social, political and cultural perspectives," according to the Annenberg Web site. The JCRC claims the exhibit devotes a disproportionate amount of space to Israel, 15 percent of the exhibit, and include baseless, false attacks.
"In a blatant misrepresentation of the truth, the photos and captions suggest that the Israelis frivolously consume water while denying it to, even stealing it from, their neighbors," wrote Ron Halber, executive director of JCRC.
"Where are the pictures with captions highlighting Israel’s extraordinary efforts to conserve and recycle water, its global leadership in cutting-edge desalination or water-saving drip-irrigation technology, or its collaborative efforts with neighbors including Jordan and the Palestinian Authority to cooperate in water sharing ventures, even in times of political conflict?" he added.
A May 10 news release by the Annenberg Space for Photography and National Geographic said that the exhibit is meant to "stimulate thought and conversation" and was not meant to make a political statement.