U.N. Trip to Jerusalem Scrapped by Israel

Claims Palestinians Politicized UNESCO Visit to Old City

getty images

By Reuters

Published May 20, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Israel on Monday cancelled a visit by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to Jerusalem’s Old City, saying the Palestinians had sought to politicise a conservation mission.

No one was immediately available for comment at UNESCO’s Paris headquarters. A month ago, it announced it would send experts to Jerusalem in mid-May to examine the state of conservation of the walled Old City, a World Heritage site.

The future of the Old City, in a part of Jerusalem that Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed in a move that is not recognised internationally, is a highly sensitive issue at the heart of the Middle East conflict.

An Israeli official said Israel objected to Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki’s reference to the UNESCO tour as a “probe (of) the occupation measures” in the city.

“The Palestinians have violated all the understandings reached, and made real attempts to change the visit from a professional to a political visit,” the official said. “So we are calling off (the visit).”

Israel had given a green light to what would have been UNESCO’s first mission to Jerusalem since 2004, in exchange for its agreement to avoid anti-Israeli motions at a conference next month in Cambodia where the team’s findings were to be submitted, officials said.

Palestinian official Ismail Al-Tellawi also confirmed to Reuters that UNESCO’s visit had been delayed indefinitely.

He cited “differences (with Israel) over some of the places the investigation committee intended to visit”.

The Israeli official said the Palestinians had wanted to take the UNESCO representatives to the Old City compound revered by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, because it is home to the Dome of the Rock shrine and the al-Aqsa mosque, and by Jews as Temple Mount, the site of the great biblical Jewish temples.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • It’s over. The tyranny of the straight-haired, button nosed, tan-skinned girl has ended. Jewesses rejoice!
  • It's really, really, really hard to get kicked out of Hebrew school these days.
  • "If Netanyahu re-opens the settlement floodgates, he will recklessly bolster the argument of Hamas that the only language Israel understands is violence."
  • Would an ultra-Orthodox leader do a better job of running the Met Council?
  • So, who won the war — Israel or Hamas?
  • 300 Holocaust survivors spoke out against Israel. Did they play right into Hitler's hands?
  • Ari Folman's new movie 'The Congress' is a brilliant spectacle, an exhilarating visual extravaganza and a slapdash thought experiment. It's also unlike anything Forward critic Ezra Glinter has ever seen. http://jd.fo/d4unE
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.