The Czech Republic’s lower parliament voted 119-4 on Wednesday to condemn UNESCO Jerusalem resolution which it warned only strengthened anti-Semitism.
The parliamentarians called on their government not to vote for UNESCO resolutions containing text that ignores Jewish ties to the Temple Mount.
They also asked the Czech Republic to protest “against the politicization” of the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization, a body originally designed to be dedicated to the preservation of the world’s heritage.
The vote in the 200-seat Chamber of Deputies was taken with 149 parliamentarians present.
It comes as Israel is gearing up to sway a majority of the 21-member World Heritage Committee not to support any text at its October 24-26 meeting in Paris that refers to the Temple Mount and it’s adjoining Western Wall solely by their Muslim names of Al-Haram Al-Sharif and the Buraq Wall.
Israel’s Ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama- Hacohen welcomed the vote and said the Czech Chamber of Deputies was the first European Parliament to take such a vote but that it would likely not be the last.
“I want to thank the Czech Republic for its vote, which sends a sane and human message of moral truth from the parliament in Prague to UNESCO in Paris that is losing itself in a politicization of lies,” Shama- Hacohen said.
Any similar statement that is taken before next week’s vote, Shama-Hacohen said, could help show the Arab states and the Palestinians are acting dangerously with a religious subject that should be removed as far as possible from any regional conflict.
The Jerusalem resolution is part of a drive by the Palestinians to change UNESCO’s terms of reference for the Temple Mount that began in 2015.
Shama-Hacohen said that the lack of historical reference goes beyond the Israeli- Palestinian conflict and is now much more about the Jewish and Christian heritage in Jerusalem’s Old City.
Israel has not yet seen the final draft of the resolution that is due to come before the World Heritage Committee but it presumes that it is similar to the one that was approved Tuesday by UNESCO’s Executive Board which used solely Muslim terms for the Temple Mount.
The Czech parliamentarians in their statement said that such resolutions “carries the spirit of hateful anti-Israel” sentiment, adding that it also ignored Christian ties to the holy sites in Jerusalem.
The Jerusalem resolution “discredits” UNESCO’s “neutrality” and “strengthens the international anti-Semitic tendencies,” the Czech politicians stated.
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