Following the second UNESCO vote to deny the connection between the Jewish people and their holiest sites in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made the decision to recall Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-Hacohen.
This was an unprecedented move that has never been taken against any other UN body before.
Netanyahu confirmed the move during an event at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya.
“The theater of the absurd continues, and I have decided to summon to Israel for consultations our ambassador to UNESCO. We will decide what do, what our next steps vis-à-vis the organization will be.”
“What we have to understand in the end -and this will take time- is that this absurdity harms not only the historical truth, but also harms the truth of the present. The credibility of the United Nations will end while Israel continues to grow and flourish.” Netanyahu added.
Shama-Hacohen said that he had already been informed of Netanyahu’s decision before the official announcement. “This is a necessary step. Clearly we need to rethink and reevaluate our relations with UNESCO given the persistent persecution of Israel and the Jewish people.”
During Wednesday’s vote ten nations voted for the anti-Israel resolution while two nations voted against and eight nations abstained.
Israel’s diplomatic outreach was not completely unsuccessful, however. Israel was able to convince Croatia and Tanzania to call for a secret ballot, to the consternation of the Arab nations which voted.
Shama-Hacohen said that while they won the vote, the Palestinian Authority and Arab nations did not reach their full objectives. “The Palestinians and the Arab countries were left at the end of the day without the consensus that they were sure was in their pocket.”
After the vote was taken Shama-Hacohen symbolically lifted a black dustbin with the word ‘history’ written on it and placed a copy of the resolution in the dustbin.
“This is yet another absurd resolution against the State of Israel, the Jewish people and historical truth.” he said, comparing the resolution to the infamous UN resolution declaring Zionism as racism in 1975, which Israel’s ambassador to the UN at the time, Chaim Herzog, famously tore up.
Shama Hacohen added that he did not intend to repeat Herzog’s actions. “I have no intention of doing this today— not because of your dignity, or the dignity of this organization, but because it is not even worthy of the energy needed for tearing it apart.”
Barkat unfazed by UNESCO decision
Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat responded Wednesday to the UNESCO decision to deny the connection between the Jewish nation and Temple Mount.
“By coincidence a papyrus was revealed today with an ancient Hebrew inscription mentioning Jerusalem. This is the first answer I have to give UNESCO.
He added that “I wish the Moslem and Christian worlds that the sites which they hold to be holy and important should be preserved in the entire Middle East in the same way we preserve and maintain the holy sites of all religions in Jerusalem.
“There is no place where Christians feel safer than Jerusalem. There is no place in the world which they connect to more. There is no place where the status quo is upheld better than Jerusalem,” said Barkat.
Barkat added that there is no need to get agitated by the UNESCO decision which he termed “political”, stating that there was no real intention of determining the truth, but rather the intention was to lambast Israel.
“We need to cooperate with the world, to invite people to see the situation for themselves and to demonstrate how our neighbors – the Syrians, ISIS – preserve holy sites. We are very proud of the way we preserve all the religions in Jerusalem,” concluded Barkat.
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