After a lengthy diplomatic struggle led by the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry and the country’s envoy to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-Hacohen, two resolution votes against Israel were postponed at the annual UNESCO General Conference. The resolutions that dealt with denouncing Israel regarding the so-called occupied territories and Jerusalem were postponed by six months.

A diplomatic win for Israel within UNESCO

A diplomatic win for Israel within UNESCO Photo Credit: Serge Attal/Flash90

For the first time since 2011, two anti-Israel UNESCO resolutions concerning Jerusalem’s holy sites and the so-called occupied territories will not be put to a vote and were postponed for 6 months. “The achievement today is the result of difficult, exhausting and frustrating diplomatic work,” stated Israeli UNESCO Ambassador Carmel Shama-Hacohen.

Over the past few days, there were fears that Iran would break the agreements that were reached in order to prevent anti-Israel resolutions from passing. However, postponing the resolutions was unanimously approved today at the 39th UNESCO General Conference.

Anti-Israel resolutions in UNESCO

Anti-Israel resolutions in UNESCO Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

“From that moment, we already turned to the next round,” Shama-Hacohen added. “There’s no reason to rest on laurels, but rather to think how to use and amplify the positive and powerful moment we reached. The starting point needs to be striving for understanding and positive cooperation with our neighbors and not a striving for victory or to bend one another.”