WJC decries UNESCO vote challenging Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem

July 5, 2017 Agencies
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The World Jewish Congress has denounced a UNESCO World Heritage Committee vote in favour of a motion challenging Israel’s sovereignty in Jerusalem, and urged member states convening in Krakow to vote against a Palestinian request denying Jewish historical ties to the Old City of Hebron.

Robert Singer

The WJC has reached out to nearly a dozen of the 21 member states in recent weeks ahead of the Committee’s annual assembly to advocate against these motions.

“UNESCO member states have voted time and again in recent years in favor of decisions that blatantly rewrite history and deny the Jewish links to our holy sites,” said WJC CEO Robert Singer.

“It is wholly disconcerting that the World Heritage Committee would support yet another biased motion accusing Israel of damaging the character of the Old City of Jerusalem and effectively stripping it of its sovereignty within its own capital, and now seems likely to approve an outrageous request to designate the Old City of Hebron and the Tomb of the Patriarchs as a site in danger on an emergency basis.

“These are manipulative and cynical distortions of reality, and a clear attack on Israel and its right to self-determination. The dangerous implications of these motions – on both a political and religious level – cannot be understated.

“Moreover, the Palestinian motion poses a severe abuse of the emergency mechanism. The World Jewish Congress urges the international committee to recognize that this request is a subversive move to deem the Old City of Hebron as a Muslim-Palestinian site alone, denying its historic and religious importance to Jews and Christians.

“We hope that the member states of the World Heritage Committee will stop this latest Palestinian attempt to use the UN for political manipulation, and vote against this egregious resolution which would only further entrench divisions among all parties,” Singer concluded.

The decision on Jerusalem, which was submitted by Kuwait, Tunisia and Lebanon, and approved Tuesday in an early vote, calls to rescind “all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem”. The resolution passed with 10 in favor, 8 abstentions and three opposed.

The Palestinian motion requesting to designate the Old City of Hebron – including the Tomb of Patriarchs within its parameters – as a World Heritage Site in Danger on an emergency basis, will be up for vote on July 7.

This is the third time in five years that the Palestinians have attempted to use the emergency procedure to deem a site in danger, beginning with the Church of the Nativity in 2012 and followed by the Battir Terraces in 2014.


3 Responses to “WJC decries UNESCO vote challenging Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem”
  1. Paul Winter says:

    The response of WJC’s CEO Robert Singer is the standard ghetto whine of powerlessness. Israel is powerful. Diaspora Jewry is strong. Both are cursed with leaders from whom the ghetto has yet to be purged; a leadership that is all talk and ego.

    A dedicated leadership would declare that there is no such thing as a Palestinian people. That their narrative is a pack of lies, an attack on history and a continuation of the war on the Jewish people.

    Israel should pass laws putting Jewish sacred sites – Cave of the Patriarchs, the Temple Mount, etc – under Jewish control and make them non-negotiable parts of the Jewish nation state. And at the same time tell UNESCO to butt out of Israel’s internal affairs. It should also let UNESCO know how disgusting and gutless it is to deny not only the history of the Jewish people, but the history of Christendom as well. But that will never happen under people like Singer and Netanyahu.

  2. Liat Kirby-Nagar says:

    Unfortunately, Erica, UNESCO’s voting for a long time now has been blatantly and vigorously against Israel, no matter how absurd and inappropriate the motions put. It’s misusing its powers and forfeiting its very reason for being in operating in the way that it is. Arab members and Israel haters are not going to be affected by the fact they’re casting their votes in Kracow. It is a good thing, though, that so many Jewish leaders have spoken out in the way they have before the vote takes place. The motions are a sham and the Palestinians have no shame whatsoever.

  3. Erica Edelman says:

    Clearly the Palestinian’s are a desperate ppl.
    Hopefully the UNESCO voting numbers on July 7 will rise to reflect nations who
    Are NOT anti-Semitic – nations who are thoughtful and intelligent and above all
    Respectful of historical literature.
    Voting in Poland may help to remind nations of the
    Cruelty and blatant antisemitism during WW2- actions that ultimately did the world
    No good.

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