Ayalon: Israel will no longer cooperate with UNESCO

Decision comes after UN organization slams Israel for declaring Cave of Patriarchs, Rachel's tomb as national sites.

cave of the patriarchs 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
cave of the patriarchs 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
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.
RELATED:Knesset blasts UNESCO resolutionsEditorial: 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.”
The 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.