Wednesday, May 03, 2017


UNESCO mars Israel's Independence Day with anti-Israel vote

By Shlomo Cesana

Israel Hayom
May 1, 2017

The United Nations cultural organization was expected to adopt a resolution on Tuesday, Israel's Independence Day, classifying Israel as an "occupying power" in Jerusalem.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is also expected to conclude that the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel's Tomb, both Jewish holy sites in Judea and Samaria, are exclusively Muslim sites.

The resolution has garnered European support after an original version of the draft, submitted on behalf of the Palestinians by a number of the body's Arab member states, was softened. The original draft sought to reaffirm 18 previous UNESCO resolutions against Israel on the matter of Jerusalem, including resolutions denying Israeli sovereignty over the city as well as any Jewish link to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

The draft resolution now states that "any action taken by Israel, the occupying power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction, and administration on the city of Jerusalem, are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever." The draft resolution is also expected to condemn the work of the Israel Antiquities Authority in Jerusalem and call for the deployment of international observes to the city.

An official in Jerusalem remarked Wednesday that "UNESCO's executive board refuses to stop the politicization that has been undermining the organization's status."

"Going against the recommendation of UNESCO's director and various leaders' promises and declarations over the last year, the organization is reverting to its habit of adopting anti-Israeli political resolutions that question every action taken by Israel in Jerusalem. They are adopting past resolutions that deny Jewish ties to the city, and recycling political condemnations against Israel on Gaza.

"Instead of stopping the politicization, as Israel was promised, European Union representatives are in fact supporting it [the politicization] by proposing their own wording, including on the question of Jerusalem, which has nothing to do with UNESCO's mandate," the official said. "Israel expects the organization's member states to vote against this absurd resolution. This draft resolution will not affect our determination to act in Jerusalem for the benefit of all its residents. It will hurt the deteriorating status of UNESCO and its relevance."

EDITOR’S NOTE: 19 resolutions denying Israel its sovereignty over Jerusalem? How many times is UNESCO going to keep on kicking a dead horse?

In November 2011 the U.S. stopped paying its annual UNESCO member ship fee of $80 million which constituted 22 percent of that UN body’s overall budget. The funding was stopped after UNESCO voted to make Palestine a member.

In November 2015, then Secretary of State John Kerry declared: “I am determined to restore U.S. funding to UNESCO, and hopeful that Congress will act to provide the administration the authority needed to waive the current legislative restrictions that prohibit U.S. contributions to the organization.” But a month later, Congress rejected the Obama administration’s request to restore U.S. funding for UNESCO with its long record of demonizing Israel.

Those 19 resolutions declare that the Jewish people have no right to Jerusalem. That is all of Jerusalem, not just East Jerusalem.

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