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World - Middle East

Arab League challenges Disney exhibit

graphic

Objections raised over issue of Jerusalem

September 14, 1999
Web posted at: 10:01 p.m. EDT (0201 GMT)

SHARM EL SHEIK, Egypt (CNN) -- Disney World in Orlando, Florida is planning a millennium exhibit celebrating cultural diversity, but instead, the giant media and entertainment conglomerate is generating a cultural conflict of global proportions.

The Arab League is upset about the program because Israel is one of 40 countries with exhibits. Some Arab leaders expect the exhibit will identify Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Israelis and Palestinians both claim Jerusalem as their capital.

Arab leaders say the exhibit would show the U.S. favoring one side.

"Jerusalem is one of the main issues for final status negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis," said Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa, "and therefore no action, no policy, no event should constitute an obstacle to such negotiations or a predetermined position that cannot be taken lightly."

Some Arab League conference members in Cairo, Egypt, have called for a boycott of Disney products.

The League says it will send a delegation to the United States, at the request of Disney Chairman Michael Eisner.

There are reports that Disney has agreed to Arab demands, deciding not to depict Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

But since the exhibit has yet to open, it is not clear what it contains or if it is being changed.



RELATED STORIES:
Arab League considers Iraq sanctions, Disney boycott
September 12, 1999

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