Instead of voting on two anti-Israel resolutions during the upcoming conference, UNESCO is expected to delay the votes on the controversial matters by at least six months. Israel’s ambassador to the UN group regarding the news: “Time will tell whether this is a tactical change or a new approach.”
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For the first time in several years, the UNESCO executive board has sided with Israel. During the organization’s upcoming conference, UNESCO committee chairman Michael Worbs is expected to present a proposal delaying the votes on two resolutions that were submitted by Arab countries regarding Jerusalem and the Palestinians. Worbs’ proposal is expected to pass unanimously.
UNESCO recently made a name for itself as an international body that frequently adopts anti-Israel resolutions. The group has renounced the Jewish connection to the Western Wall, rejected Israel’s sovereignty in Jerusalem and named the Cave of the Patriarchs as a Palestinian site. However, the upcoming UNESCO conference is expected to proceed without the passing of any resolution regarding Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Worbs’ proposal would delay the votes on the two resolutions by at least six months. While Israel views the expected delay as a significant achievement, Israel’s ambassador to the UN group Carmel Shama-Hacohen has his doubts. “I won’t believe it until I hear the sound of the chairman’s gavel coming down,” Shama-Hacohen said. “Pulling the resolutions from the vote and decision and postponing them by at least half a year is encouraging, especially given the obsessive pursuit of the State of Israel and the Jewish people, but it is not enough.”
“Time will tell whether this is a tactical change or a new approach and significant progress toward cleaning the table and the organization of the incitement and politicization against us. Peace will not be achieved in UNESCO but trust-building steps are possible.”