Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Israel Recalls Envoy to UNESCO After Controversial New Jerusalem Resolution

JERUSALEM — Israel is recalling its ambassador to UNESCO to Jerusalem for consultations in the wake of the adoption of a second resolution that denies Jewish ties to Jerusalem holy sites.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a public announcement on Wednesday night.

“The theater of the absurd continues, and so I decided to recall our ambassador to UNESCO back to Israel for consultations,” Netanyahu said at an event at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya.

The recall will allow the government to reconsider its ties to the U.N. cultural agency.

“This is a necessary step,” the envoy, Carmel Shama-Hacohen, told The Times of Israel. “The motive is the need to rethink and reevaluate our relations with UNESCO given the persistent persecution of Israel and the Jewish people.”

On Wednesday, the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO adopted a resolution in Paris that ignores Jewish ties to the Temple Mount. The vote by secret ballot came two weeks after a similar resolution passed by the executive board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization also denying a Jewish connection to the Western Wall and other Jewish holy sites.

Shama-Hacohen had worked to make sure Wednesday’s resolution was voted on and not just adopted by consensus, as desired by the proposal’s authors, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.

The resolution was submitted by Lebanon and Tunisia on behalf of Jordan and the Palestinians. Jordan and the Palestinian Authority reportedly had threatened to make the language more contentious and strengthen the Muslim claim to the Temple Mount in the resolution if it was not approved by a consensus vote, but Tanzania and Croatia requested the secret ballot.

“This is yet another absurd resolution against the State of Israel, the Jewish people and historical truth,” Shama-Hacohen said in a statement following the vote.

“The absurdity continues, and UNESCO has adopted yet another ridiculous decision that is completely disconnected from reality. UNESCO embarrassed itself by marching to the tune of the Palestinian pipers. All attempts to deny our heritage, distort history and disconnect the Jewish people from our capital and our homeland are doomed to fail.”

During his statement, Shama-Hacohen threw a copy of the resolution into a trash can marked “history.”

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    NY-12 Candidate Forum

    THE TEMPLE EMANU-EL STREICKER CENTER and Virtual

    Aug 10, 2022

    7 pm ET · 

    Will the last Jew left in New York’s congressional delegation be reelected? Will New York’s senior congresswoman receive another term? Or will one of the newcomers upend Manhattan politics?

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, and credit to Foward. Have questions? Please email us at help@forward.com.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.