The UNESCO World Heritage Committee passed a resolution that condemns Israel for “acts against Islamic holy sites.” The resolution was adopted with the support of only 10 countries while 2 opposed, 8 abstained and one country was absent from the vote.
The Temple Mount Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
Today (Wednesday), UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee passed a resolution that condemns Israel for “acts against Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem.” The resolution was adopted but passed by a smaller majority compared to the majority that voted in favor of the similar draft resolution two weeks ago. The fact that the resolution passed by a slight majority is somewhat surprising because the committee is composed of a few countries that are hostile to Israel such as Tunisia, Kuwait, Lebanon and Indonesia.
10 countries voted in favor of the resolution, 8 abstained and one country was not present during the vote. Two countries voted against the resolution that was submitted by Lebanon and Tunisia because Jordan and the Palestinian Authority are not part of the 21-member committee.
“The craziness continues, UNESCO is dancing to the tunes of the Palestinian flute and humiliating itself,” said Israel’s representative to the UN Danny Danon. “The craziness continues today as UNESCO decided to adopt another farfetched resolution when there is clearly no connection between it and reality. The attempts of the Palestinians and UNESCO to deny and twist history in order to remove the Jewish people from their capital city and historical homeland will fail.”
Expected to condemn Israel. UNESCO Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
Israel’s envoy to the organization Carmel Shama-Hacohen said in response to today’s vote: “At this moment, you’ve decided to adopt another absurd resolution against Israel, against the Jewish people, against the historic truth and against all of the values this collapsing organization is supposed to represent.”
Tanzania and Croatia asked for a secret ballot on behalf of Israel. As reported by JOL yesterday, the text of this resolution was more moderate than the previous one that questioned the Jewish people’s connected to the Temple Mount and Jerusalem’s Old City but still addressed the Temple Mount only by its Islamic name. Jordan and the Palestinian Authority revised the text of this resolution, hoping that it would be unanimously passed. The PA and Jordan even sent a letter to the 21 member states of the committee, warning them to not vote against the resolution.
“This [vote] is the continuation of the absurd theater,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier today. “Islamic extremists destroy mosques, churches and archeological sites while Israel is the only country in the region that preserves them and enables religious freedom for all. The World Heritage Committee is the one that deserves condemnation, not Israel.”
As reported by JOL yesterday, 77,000 people signed a petition against UNESCO’s previous decision, which stated that there is no connection between the Jewish people and the Temple Mount and Jerusalem. The petition was forwarded to the UNESCO Director-General by Shama-Hacohen.