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Israel still outraged by new ‘softened’ version of UNESCO bill

UNESCO meeting room [file photo]
UNESCO meeting room [file photo]

A new version of a UNESCO resolution that strongly condemned Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinians territory was approved yesterday after widespread uproar from Israel and its supporters claimed that the previous text denied Jewish ties to Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.

The resolution was backed by ten World Heritage Committee member states, opposed by two, with eight abstaining.

However, Israeli media sites reported that the revised version continued to “ignore Judaism’s connection” to the holy site, as the text still only referred to the compound by its Arabic and Muslim names – Al-Aqsa or Al-Haram Al-Sharif – and not as the Temple Mount as it is known to Jews.

Amid the uproar, the issues raised in the resolution itself regarding several Israeli policies against Palestinians at the holy site have largely fallen to the wayside.

As a Palestinian representative to UNESCO put it after the initial text was approved, the resolution was “about occupation, not about a name”, asserting that the Geneva Conventions required the site be referred to by the name that predated Israel’s illegal occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967.

The wording of the new resolution was “softened”, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, removing the term “occupying” force in regards to Israel, and now refers to the Western Wall by its Jewish name and not in quotations as it had been previously.

However, Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-Hacohen, reportedly said after the vote: “This is yet another absurd resolution against the State of Israel, the Jewish people and historical truth.”

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, also slammed the new resolution, saying, “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.”

The revised resolution followed a robust diplomatic campaign by the state of Israel, which reportedly included Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally making phone calls to foreign ministers and heads of UNESCO member countries to convince them to demand a vote and to oppose or abstain.

According to Haaretz, contacts were made by Israel and the US via “secret channels”, which culminated in a panel session yesterday morning when Palestinians and representatives of the Arab countries “were surprised” that Croatian and Tanzanian ambassadors demanded a secret vote, rather than passing the decision by consensus, as is permitted by UNESCO regulations.

Israeli Envoy to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-Hacohen, throws Jerusalem resolution into the trash

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  • Gary Lawrence

    Where is the champion of oversight on war crimes and atrocities? I would never want to be called anti-semitic, but I still believe he was raised in a Jewish family and from his outright support of Israel and silence to everything they are doing, on a daily basis, Deputy US Ambassador to the UN David Pressman’s comment, “We need a United Nations that includes Israel, that brings Israel closer, not one that systematically pushes Israel away”, flies in the face of reality.
    Danny Danon who is going to chair the General Assembly’s legal panel,
    engaging on questions of international law, is particularly opposed
    to all legally binding resolutions of the UNSC and farther right-wing
    than Netanyahu. Danon’s chairmanship of the Sixth Committee isn’t a
    confused United Nations, it sadly doesn’t even fly in the face of
    reality for a U.N. that has done nothing but talk about Israel’s misbehavior.
    Richard Falk, the former UN Special Rapporteur, said the appointment of Danon was “particularly ironic because he is a militant settler leader and the settlements themselves are a violation of international law.” and it just isn’t going to be David Pressman to stand up for justice for humanity or AGAINST the crimes of Israel.

  • Gary Lawrence

    I FEEL THE SAME ABOUT ROBERT WEXLER, FORMER CONGRESSMAN FROM FLORIDA AND ALSO FROM A RICH JUDAIC TRADITION. HE ISN’T GOING TO ALLOW EVEN THE WORD OCCUPATION TO BE USED IN THE DEMOCRATIC PLATFORM. CAN YOU BELIEVE HE IS NOW THE PRESIDENT FOR MIDDLE EAST PEACE? BLIND , DEAF, AND DUMB IS WHAT ISRAEL AND AIPAC HAVE IN MIND FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

    The Daniel S. Abraham Center for Peace, run by former Democratic Florida congressman Robert Wexler, ran a newspaper advertisement in the Friday edition of the New York Times, calling for immediate separation of Israelis and Palestinians into separate countries to keep Israel as a Jewish majority state. “It’s Time for Separation,” the advertisement explains. “Separation today means a Jewish majority, State of Israel now and for Generations ahead.” Isn’t this what crap detection is all about? Alabama Gov. George Wallace put it: “Segregation now! Segregation tomorrow! Segregation forever!” Democrats can’t even use the word occupation in their platform or anywhere else actually. AIPAC is so powerful, most candidates shudder at what their support or lack of can mean to their future.

  • Gary Lawrence

    I was right,PBS and Kerry won’t cross that line of AIPACs. The money and influence are just too great. Consider Kerry running again for President, no way he is going to face AIPAC like our present candidates and tell them he went against Israel. (a war criminal, terrorist, and apartheid state)
    JOHN KERRY IS NO HONEST BROKER. HYPROCRISY is the norm THESE days.
    As always there will be no justice for the victims, the families, or
    rule of law. It’s ethnic cleansing at the root.
    A rogue nation, an apartheid nation, and a war criminal, the majority of the world wants prosecuted(gets away again). Netanyahu can blackmail Kerry, who doesn’t have a backbone left. Kerry and Netanyahu are wearing the same sign, “IT IS SO BECAUSE I SAY IT IS SO.” (We all know it was murder)
    YOU CAN ADD THE DNC AND PBS BOTH ARE WORKING TO KEEP THE AMERICAN PUBLIC DEAF, DUMB, AND BLIND. Can you believe that PBS was right there at the DNC CONVENTION and never mentioned such a thing as AMERICANS BURNING the ISRAELI FLAG just outside the CONVENTION?(It was murder, KERRY. As you know, happens every day to Palestinians, BY THE IDF)

  • Gary Lawrence

    2 wrongs don’t make a right. I firmly support Jimmy Carter, one of our great humanitarians and former Presidents of the United States. He has stated many times on National tv and it can be seen on Youtube that Israel is an A partied nation. I could point out many examples. They haven’t changed some minds yet, but I’m confident that under Netanyahu, we will see more of these changes. Such as a new task force to find BDS supporters and expel them from Israel along with any Arabs who say anything contrary to his party.JIMMY CARTER IS 92 YEARS OLD BEGINNING OCTOBER 1, 2016. He can’t visit Israel nor anyone else who reports the truth about Netanyahu and his war crimes mindset.

  • Helen4Yemen

    Who are these “Israelis”? The Bloomberg’s and Goldberg’s of New York?