UNESCO’s executive board on Tuesday approved a resolution that denies the deep historic Jewish connection to holy sites in Jerusalem.
The UNESCO board adopted the anti-Semitic measure by consensus in its morning session in Paris. A draft form of the resolution had already been approved by a commission last week.
The resolution is not expected to have direct impact on Jerusalem itself, but it deepens the rift between the Israel and the U.N.
The resolution, titled “Occupied Palestine,” is the latest of several measures at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization over decades that Israelis see as evidence of ingrained anti-Israel bias within the United Nations, where Israel and its allies are far outnumbered by Arab countries and their supporters. Israel’s concern has mounted since UNESCO states admitted “Palestine” as a member in 2011.
Israel last week suspended its ties with UNESCO over the draft resolution.
“Following the shameful decision by UNESCO members to deny history and ignore thousands of years of Jewish ties to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, I have notified the Israel National Commission for UNESCO to suspend all professional activities with the international organization,” Education Minister Naftali Bennett stated on Friday.
The Jewish state had already suspended its funding to UNESCO when Palestinian membership was approved, along with the United States, which used to provide 22 percent of the agency’s budget.
“We won’t negotiate and we won’t take part in these ugly games,” the Israeli ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-Hacohen, told The Associated Press after the ratification. “There is no place for these games in UNESCO. This noble organization was established to preserve history, not to rewrite it.”
UNESCO Chief Opposes Resolution, Gets Death Threats
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova received death threats after expressing her personal opposition to the absurd resolution passed by her organization.
It was not the first time Bokova stood on the side of historical truth. In October 2015, she issued a statement on Tuesday “deploring” the Palestinian proposal to have the Western Wall declared a Palestinian site.
“The protection of cultural heritage should not be taken hostage, as this undermines UNESCO’s mandate and efforts,” Bokova said.