In response to UNESCO’s latest biased resolution, Israel sends its membership dues to a center that promotes historical truth.
Following a resolution passed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee designating the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Hebron a Palestinian heritage site, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to further cut Israel’s funding to the UN and instead establish a center focused on the Jewish connection to Hebron, which stretches back thousands of years.
On Friday, UNESCO voted to designate Hebron’s Old City and the Cave of the Patriarchs “Palestinian World Heritage sites.”
The resolution characterized the site as facing danger, which directly contradicts facts on the ground.
This designation attempts to eliminate the Jewish people’s millennia-long connection to the sites, at which the founders of the Jewish religion are buried.
In response, Netanyahu slashed an additional $1 million from the membership funds that Israel pays to the UN, transfering them to the establishment of “The Museum of the Heritage of the Jewish People in Kiryat Arba and Hebron,” in addition to other heritage projects related to Hebron.
Commenting on the resolution, Netanyahu called it “another delusional UNESCO decision.”
Specifically, Netanyahu ordered a $1 million cut in Israel’s annual UN dues after UNESCO’s May resolution denying Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem. In March, Israel also withheld $2 million from the world body following the passage of anti-Israel resolutions at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Israel reduced its UN funding by $6 million in the aftermath of last December’s UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which described eastern Jerusalem’s Jewish holy sites as “occupied Palestinian territory.”
“This time they decided that the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron is a Palestinian site, meaning that it is not Jewish, and that the site is in danger. Not a Jewish site?! Who is buried there? Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah – our patriarchs and matriarchs!” Netanyahu declared.
“And the site is in danger? It is only in those places where Israel is, such as Hebron, that freedom of religion for all is ensured. In the Middle East, mosques, churches and synagogues in every other place, are being bombed – in places that are not Israel. We will continue to protect the Tomb of the Patriarchs, freedom of religion for all and the truth,” Netanyahu underscored.
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely called the UNESCO vote “a badge of shame for UNESCO, which time after time chooses to stand on the side of lies”.
Hotovely added that “in another thousand years, the Cave of the Patriarchs will remain under Jewish sovereignty and UNESCO will cease to exist as a heritage organization.”
Hotovely ridiculed the automatic support such Muslim-sponsored resolutions receive, saying that “the same automatic majority would also have passed a resolution that the sun rises in the west and not in the east.”
“Israel will not surrender to historic distortion and will continue the fight against the bias of UN institutions regarding Israel,” she concluded.
“Against UNESCO’s denial of the past, Prime Minister Netanyahu is determined to present to the entire world the historic truth and the Jewish People’s deep connection – of thousands of years – to Hebron,” Netanyahu’s office stated following his decision.