Dallas Public Library cancels exhibit by terror-supporting group

Pro-BDS Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) announces anti-Israel art exhibit at the Dallas Public Library in May; Following Ynet inquiry about partnering with BDS-supporting organizations - illegal in Texas - library cancels exhibit

The Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) advertised late last month an upcoming art exhibit titled "75 Years of Resistance. 75 Years of Glory" at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in Dallas, set to be on display from May 20 to August 30. However, after Ynet reached out to the library for comment, a library representative said that the event was canceled – despite the fact that the organization is still advertising the event.
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According to the description, the exhibit will “honor the courage and steadfastness of the Palestinian people in their resistance to Zionist oppression and colonization dating back to the 1948 catastrophe known as the Nakba.” Notably, the exhibit rejects the right of Israel to exist in any capacity or any borders as it specifically references “75 years,” as opposed to addressing the post-1967 occupation in the West Bank.
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Palestinian Youth Movement Announces Exhibit at Dallas Public Library
Palestinian Youth Movement Announces Exhibit at Dallas Public Library
Palestinian Youth Movement Announces Exhibit at Dallas Public Library
(Screenshot, Instagram)
The Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) is a controversial group which has a long history of supporting Palestinian acts of terrorism against Israeli civilians and praises U.S.-designated terror groups.
PYM also has used social media to publicly praise U.S.-designated terrorists and, in February 2023, held rallies in Washington, DC and Los Angeles in support of Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists who were killed in Jenin in a gunfight with the Israel Defense Forces. In addition to support for terrorists, PYM also openly advocates a boycott of Israel and supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement against Israel.
Previously, the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library partnered with PYM for a similar event, in May 2022, featuring “a dynamic body of work from Palestinian and non-Palestinian artists in North Texas with themes related to the Nakba and Palestine,” as well as a cultural evening “commemorating 74 years of the Nakba.”
The organization and this exhibit both are problematic as Texas has an anti-BDS law on the books which prohibits the boycott of Israel; however, due to an amendment, the law is only applicable to for-profit individuals or entities dealing with contracts above $100,000.

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A BDS Tshirt
A BDS Tshirt
A BDS Tshirt
(Photo: AFP)

While PYM activity may be legal under the anti-BDS law, the law also explicitly prohibits government entities from contracting with entities that do boycott Israel. As such, having collaborated in the past with an organization that actively promotes BDS at a state-funded location is highly problematic.
According to the 2023 budget of the city of Dallas, its 30 libraries will receive more than $39 million dollars in taxpayer funding in the 2023-24 fiscal year.
In response to inquiries from Ynet, Jo Giudice, director of the Dallas Public Library, said of the canceled exhibit: "The proposal for the art exhibit was denied. The online promotion was distributed by the organization and was not reviewed or approved by Dallas Public Library."
She said the library did not properly vet the event held with PYM in May 2022.
"The exhibit last year was not given adequate vetting. The library strives to provide a platform for diverse voices and opinions, particularly those of disenfranchised communities, as described in our statement on race and society equity. In our eagerness to be inclusive, we did not give the exhibit the scrutiny we should have," Giudice said.
She added that "no funds, public or otherwise, were expended on the previous exhibit."
As of the time of publication, the PYM post advertising the upcoming exhibit which the library canceled following Ynet's inquiry was still online.
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