Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon announced that Israel will no longer cooperate with UNESCO, during a Wednesday Knesset discussion after the organization blasted Israel for declaring the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel's tomb as national sites.
"We should see the organization's decision to remove the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel's Tomb from the list of Israel's national sites as part of Palestinian escalation in international organizations," Ayalon said.
Knesset blasts UNESCO resolutions
Editorial: UNESCO and the cradle of Jewish history
Israel has already discussed the issue with the United States, which sits on the key UNESCO council, and the Jewish organization B’nai B’rith has already organized a letter-writing campaign to UNESCO director- general Irina Bokova, said Shalev- Schlusser.
“These resolutions undermine the mission of UNESCO as a scientific and
cultural group that encourages cooperation throughout the world,”
complained Education and Culture Committee chairman Zevulun Orlev
(Habayit Hayehudi) on Tuesday. “The resolutions are completely
disconnected from scientific and historical facts and are based only on
the political majority of the Arab bloc that opposes Israel.”
committee ruled that it “supports the government in taking all of the
possible steps to prevent the realization of these decisions” and said
it would “consider turning to friendly parliaments in the world as
recommended by Foreign Ministry to encourage their parallel committees
to deliver a message to UNESCO not to make decisions that are in
complete contradiction to archeological, historical and architectural
values of professional preservation.”
The committee also
recommended that an international team of experts be put together to
disprove the allegations made in the UNESCO resolutions.
Rebecca Anna Stoil contributed to this report.