Two Republican politicians have submitted a resolution to Congress condemning UNESCO, days after the US announced that it would be withdrawing from the organisation over its “anti-Israel bias”, according to the Times of Israel.
Senator Ted Cruz and Republican Matt Gaetz authored the resolution last Friday which condemns UNESCO for trying to delegitimise the Jewish state and “recognises and affirms the historical connection of the Jewish people to the ancient and sacred city of Jerusalem”.
Last year, UNESCO voted in favour of a resolution that denied any connection between Al-Aqsa Mosque and Judaism; Israel relies on such a claim in recognising the Muslim holy site as the “Temple Mount”.
“The Jewish people, and the people of Israel, have a deep and ancient connection to the holy city of Jerusalem,” Gaetz claimed. “Yet the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) … is actively trying to rewrite history.”
The proposed resolution also calls on the US to partner with its allies in preventing the group from passing similar measures in the future; a sentiment echoed by US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, after the decision to exit was announced last week, when she warned that other UN agencies could face similar action if they did not reform.
Last week, Israel chose to follow the US and prepare for its exit from the international body, but appeared to leave the door open to reconciliation announcing that the change would take at least a year, and would be dependent on UNESCO’s future actions.
Israelis were angered once again in July following the designation of the Ibrahimi Mosque in occupied Hebron, a site which is stormed regularly by illegal Israeli settlers, as a Palestinian World Heritage Site under threat from Israel.
In response, Israel and the US have cut funding to UNESCO on multiple occasions, accusing it of “anti-Semitism”.