Foreign Ministry protests countries that voted for UNESCO resolution

Among the 33 countries that voted for the resolution were a number of countries with whom Israel has close ties, such as China, Egypt, France, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, Spain and Vietnam.

By
April 21, 2016 04:35
2 minute read.
Jews gather to pray at the Western Wall during Succot

Jews gather to pray at the Western Wall during Succot. (photo credit: AFP PHOTO)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

More than a week after UNESCO’s executive board voted in favor of a resolution ignoring Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and Western Wall area, Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold wrote a letter to the 33 countries that voted for the resolution “registering Israel’s protest in the strongest terms.”

Gold’s letter came five days after Yesh Atid MK Yair Lapid penned a sharp letter of protest to UNESCO head Irina Bokova.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Among the 33 countries that voted for the resolution were a number of countries with whom Israel has close ties, such as China, Egypt, France, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, Spain and Vietnam.

Two other EU countries, Slovenia and Sweden also voted for the resolution, as did Argentina, with whom Israel expected there to be dramatic improvement of ties following last year’s elections.

Six countries voted against the resolution – Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the US – and 17 abstained.

In the letter sent to his colleagues, Gold called the resolution “outrageous” and said it is “part of a disturbing trend that seeks to deny the deep-rooted links between the Jewish people and the State of Israel, with their historic capital.”

Gold noted that the term “Temple Mount” was expunged from the text and replaced with only a reference to al-Aksa Mosque and al-Haram al-Sharif.



“Even the Western Wall, the Jewish people’s most sacred site after the Temple Mount, is referred to by UNESCO in quotation marks, as though it is not commonly accepted language, while clear preference is given to call it instead al-Buraq, recalling the Islamic tradition alone,” Gold wrote.

Gold noted that every aspect of Jewish tradition was presented in the resolution as fiction, referring to “Jewish fake graves,” and “so called Jewish ritual baths.

“Under Israeli administration, people of all faiths have been able to enjoy access to their holy places in Jerusalem for the first time in decades,” he wrote.

“Far from recognizing and supporting this vital principle of mutual respect between faiths and peoples, this resolution only serves to undermine it.”

Meanwhile, Bokova sent a letter of response to Lapid on Wednesday, distancing herself from the decision.

“This decision was made by the economic council and the management council of UNESCO, which are both management bodies, and was not made by me,” she wrote.

“I published a statement immediately after the council meeting ended where I said, ‘Jerusalem is a Holy Land of the three monotheistic religions, a place of dialogue for all Jewish, Christian and Muslim people. Nothing should be undertaken to alter its integrity and authenticity. It is a mosaic of cultures and peoples, whose history has shaped the history of all humanity. Only respect and dialogue can build the trust we need to move forward – this is the strength of UNESCO, for the benefit of all.’”

She also noted that she has said in the past the UNESCO must not be politicized.

Related Content

March against surrogacy law on Ayalon Highway, Tel Aviv, July 22, 2018.
July 23, 2018
Surrogacy and equality: The acute emotional pain of childless families

By JPOST EDITORIAL