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UNESCO second resolution in two weeks ignoring Jewish ties to Jerusalem holy sites

UNESCO resolution refers to key religious sites only by their Islamic names; It is a ‘disgrace to intelligent people, ‘ says Temple Mount archeologist

Jews praying at the Western Wall - Israel- Jerusalem (Photo (3)



The UNESCO resolution on Wednesday morning ignores again the 3, 000-year-old Jewish link to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and the Western Wall, the Judaism’s holiest sites,  with 10 votes YEA, 2 NO, 8 ABSTAIN, 8 BLANK, 1 ABSENT

Two weeks after a similarly-worded resolution was approved, the 21-member World Heritage Committee had given again its unfriendly countries to Israel a secret ballot voting including Lebanon, Kuwait, Cuba, Indonesia and Tunisia.

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The vote was on keeping the Old City on its list of world heritage sites in danger – a resolution that refers to holy sites only by their Islamic names.

Tanzania and Croatia have called on the 21-member states of the World Heritage Committee to hold a secret balloon on a draft resolution that ignores Jewish ties to the Temple Mount.

UNESCO officially adopts controversial Jerusalem resolution

Lebanon with Cuba’s help has attempted to thwart any vote, preferring to see a consensus vote. Israel had pushed for a roll call vote on the matter.

In a letter sent to World Heritage Committee on Monday, the Palestinian and Jordanian delegations reportedly threatened to strengthen the Muslim claims to the site in the resolution, unless there was a consensus vote on the existing text.

“The delegation of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the delegation of Palestine would and according to the rules of procedure be obliged to consider other options, ” they stated.

The independent professional body, which advises UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, spoke out after a board meeting in Istanbul. According to its Vice President,  Gideon Koren who is an Israeli attorney, it said “that there should be a clear distinction between political controversies and scientific facts and that political disputes … and political views can not justify statements which erase basic and well known and proven historical facts.”

Top UN officials have also spoke against these resolutions including outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UNESCO Executive Board chairman Michael Worbs and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton also criticized the resolution, saying in a statement:

“It is disappointing and wrong to see that UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee is considering a resolution on Jerusalem that fails to recognize and respect the deep and historic ties of the Jewish people to Jerusalem and its holy sites.”

Bokova met on Tuesday with Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Israel to UNESCO, Shama-Hacohen and with the International Legal Forum and pro-Israel non-governmental group StandWithUS.

They submitted a petition to Bokova, in Paris, with nearly 80, 000 signatures calling upon UNESCO to recognize the irrefutably deep historic, cultural and religious connection between the Jewish people and the land of Israel.

Roz Rothstein, CEO StandWithUs stated:
“Through these polarizing and mendacious resolutions, UNESCO is inciting dangerous ill will against Israel, the Jewish people and Judaism. This puts UNESCO in the position of both sanctioning the world’s ‘oldest hate’ of anti-Semitism and destroying the confidence of millions in it as a credible agency of the United Nations. Indeed, UNESCO has allowed itself to become a vehicle for fomenting conflict, intolerance, misunderstanding and injustice in stark contrast to its aim ‘to contribute to the building of peace” and “intercultural dialogue. These resolutions render UNESCO ineffective in creating the cultural bridges between Israelis and Palestinians that are so sorely needed.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said of Wednesday’s vote,
 “This is a continuation of the theater of the absurd. Radical Islamic forces destroy mosques, churches and archeological sites, while Israel is the only state in the region that preserves them and allows freedom of worship for all religions. UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee deserves to be condemned, not Israel.”


Minister Naftali Bennett’s reaction to UNESCO’s decision:

“This is history denial, and history will render this embarrassing decision as meaningless as previous ones. One thing is constant: Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel. Therefore, my decision to suspend our professional activity with UNESCO remains in place. We will not cooperate with an organization denying the Jewish People’s connection to Jerusalem.”



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