MEMBERS OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT visit the Cave of Patriarchs in Hebron yesterday..
(photo credit: AVI HAYOUN)
The UNESCO vote on Jerusalem shows the international body does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, a European Parliament member told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.
“When you do not want to recognize the Jewish state you are looking for [an] argument to deny the Jewish past,” said MEP Bas Belder, who is from the Netherlands.
His country was one of six nations that voted against Tuesday’s resolution before the 58-member UNESCO Executive Board, which ignored Jewish ties to the Temple Mount. It is part of a drive by the Palestinians to change the language by which UNESCO refers to that area, so that it would be referenced solely by its Muslim name of al-Haram al-Sharif.
Belder spoke while on a tour of Hebron and Gush Etzion. He was part of a delegation of 23 parliamentarians from 18 countries who have come to for the annual Jerusalem Chairman’s Conference. It is organized by the Israel Allies Foundation and is sponsored by the World Jewish Congress and the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.
On Thursday participants plan to issue a resolution condemning UNESCO’s Jerusalem resolution.
UNESCO resolution on Temple Mount in Jerusalem
On Wednesday the Jewish community of Hebron led them on a tour of the Cave of the Patriarchs and showed them some of the complexity of modern life in a city where a small Jewish community lives among a large Palestinian population.
At the Gush Etzion junction, where they were treated to lunch in a succa, Efrat Council head Oded Revivi spoke to them of his efforts to improve relations with the Arab villages around his settlement.
Revivi, who is in charge of international relations for the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea and Samaria, is helping lead the settlers’ opposition against such UNESCO resolutions and the BDS movement.
“If people think that peace will come from a UNESCO resolution or a Security Council resolution or from a president who has seen the region mostly from a satellite but doesn’t realize its complexity, then there is no hope of peace,” Revivi said.