Czech lawmakers reject anti-Israel UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem

The Czech Chamber of Deputies rejected the latest UNESCO resolution denying Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem and called for an end to funding the organization.

The Czech Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Parliament, on Wednesday rejected a recent United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) resolution on Jerusalem’s status and called on the Czech government to cut its financing to UNESCO.

The UNESCO resolution, which passed three weeks ago, declared Israeli sovereignty and jurisdiction over Jerusalem “null and void.”

“Today, I would like to thank the Czech parliament for deciding to oppose UNESCO’s non-recognition of Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem,” Netanyahu stated at an event Wednesday evening at Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem, marking 50 years since the liberation and reunification of Jerusalem.

“The Czechs once gave us Czech rifles, this was the start of the struggle. This is also a sign of the opposing struggle to recognize a simple thing. The parliament in Prague called on its government to respect the status of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and also proposed halting any additional state payment of UNESCO membership dues as long as the organization continues the political discrimination against Israel. This is the correct, worthy and courageous decision that others should copy,” Netanyahu said.

The Czech News Agency (ČTK) reported that Chamber of Deputies Deputy Chairman Jan Bartosek said the resolution “confirms a permanent, biased and hostile stance of UNESCO on one of its member states as well as an unacceptable politization of this organization.”

“The only possible sanction against this organization is that we stop supporting it financially,” MP Jana Cernochova said. The contributions should not be paid unless UNESCO gives up its hostile stance on Israel, she added.

The Czechs contributed about 30 million crowns ($1.27 million) to UNESCO this year.

Israel also cut funding to the UN after the resolution’s passing.

Member of Parliament Daniel Korte slammed UNESCO for focusing on Jerusalem rather than on the destruction of world heritage by the Islamic State (ISIS) organization. ISIS has systematically destroyed cultural sites throughout the Middle East. He also criticized UNESCO for not protesting against Arabs who damaged Jewish heritage sites.

The Chamber said the Czech government should “advocate a position respecting Jerusalem as the Israeli capital city and impede steps that distort historical facts and are motivated by a hateful anti-Israeli spirit.

Last October, the Chamber of Deputies denounced the UNESCO resolution that ignored the Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The resolution used only Muslim names for the sites in the Old City of Jerusalem.

By: World Israel News Staff