A photograph of former prime minister Golda Meir was removed Saturday from an exhibition at an Egyptian museum following an outcry by online activists and Egyptian media personalities incensed at seeing the mug of the Israeli leader.
The Pioneer Women exhibition at the the Pharaonic Village in Giza, which opened to visitors over the weekend, featured images and stories of women from around the world who played a pivotal role in bringing positive social change to their communities.
A picture of Meir, who served as prime minister during Israel’s bloody 1973 Yom Kippur War against Syria and Egypt, was displayed alongside photos of other international female leaders, such as former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and Egyptian feminist activist Huda Saharawi, according to Egyptian daily al-Ahram.
The exhibition’s organizers decided to get rid of Meir’s photo after receiving a slew of complaints on social media and criticism by several TV hosts in the country, who claimed the former Israeli leader was directly responsible for the deaths of numerous Egyptian citizens.
Abdel-Salam Raged, CEO of the Pharaonic Village, later conceded to the Al-Ahram Arabic news website that he believed including Meir’s photo in the exhibition was a mistake.
“The exhibition includes statues and photos of 70 women figures from all over the world that have affected our lives, whether in a positive or negative way, starting from ancient Egypt until now,” Raged said.
“Our message was to highlight women’s powers, not to call for the normalization of relations with Israel,” he said.
Jerusalem and Cairo have maintained a peace treaty since 1979 and the two countries regularly cooperate on joint security issues.
However, many in Egypt still hold a generally negative attitude toward Israel and chafe at the idea of normalized relations.