Creating new perspectives since 2009

Israel suspends ties with UNESCO

October 14, 2016 at 3:18 pm

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett announced today that Israel is suspending all of its joint activities with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) after the organisation adopted a resolution that disregards the connection between Judaism and Al-Aqsa Mosque and casts doubt over the link between the religion and the Western Wall.

In a message to UNESCO member states, Bennett said: “Your decision denies history and encourages terror. Those who give prizes to supporters of jihad in Jerusalem mere days after two Jews were murdered in the city, may very well be the next in line.”

“The western world stands before UNESCO and against terror, just as they oppose terror in Aleppo they must unite against diplomatic terror in Jerusalem. The next terrorist will gain legitimacy from yesterday’s sick decision. Cutting Jerusalem off from Israel will create a domino effect that will affect the entire Western world,” he said.

UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova spoke out today against the organisation’s executive board for its adoption of the aforementioned resolution.

In a statement, Bokova said: “The Al Aqsa Mosque [or] Al-Haram Al-Sharif, the sacred shrine of Muslims, is also the Har HaBayit – or Temple Mount – whose Western Wall is the holiest place in Judaism.”

“Jerusalem is the sacred city of the three monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It is in recognition of this exceptional diversity, and this cultural and religious coexistence, that it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list,” she added in the statement, which was made hours after Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO, MK Carmel Shama-Hacohen, asked her to speak out against the motion, as she had done in April, when the UNESCO executive board voted in favour of a similar motion.