Israel Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon called UNESCO’s declaration that the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb are in “Occupied Palestine” another attempt to “rewrite history.”
By TPS and World Israel News
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted resolutions 28 and 29, stating that the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem are both “an integral part of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”
The resolutions, titled “Occupied Palestine,” also condemned any “Israeli measures aimed at altering the character, status and demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian territory.” The language in the resolutions, sponsored by Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Oman, Qatar, Sudan and Morocco, repeatedly referred to Israel as the “occupier” in Hebron and Bethlehem.
In response to the resolution, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.N., Danny Danon, commented, “This is further evidence, for anyone who did not understand why the United States and Israel withdrew from UNESCO, that again proves that UNESCO is a body based on lies and biases, and is deliberately acting against us.”
Danon warned, “The State of Israel will not be a member of an organization that is trying to rewrite history and willing to be manipulated by our enemies.”
Last December, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu instructed Israel’s envoy to UNESCO Carmel Shama Hacohen to officially announce Israel’s withdrawal from the organization, two months after U.S. President Donald Trump ordered that the United States withdraw due to “anti-Israel bias.”
Israel was set to officially withdraw from the UN body on December 31, 2018, after being a member since 1949, however, in June, in response to efforts by newly appointed UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay, a French-Moroccan Jew, to combat the anti-Israeli bias within the organization, Shama Hacohen said: “Israel shouldn’t ignore the new spirit that is blowing in its direction from UNESCO,” adding that “together with the US, [Israel] should reevaluate the question of leaving or at least weigh the possibility of a certain delay so we send a positive signal to all involved.”
In September, Azoulay extended an invitation to Prime Minister Netanyahu to participate in a conference organized by UNESCO aimed at combating anti-Semitism, to which he declined.
“While I commend all efforts to combat anti-Semitism, I have decided not to participate in this week’s UNESCO conference on anti-Semitism due to the organization’s persistent and egregious bias against Israel,” Netanyahu said in a statement, adding that “since 2009, UNESCO has passed 71 resolutions condemning Israel and only two resolutions condemning all other countries combined. This is simply outrageous.”
Netanyahu asserted that, should UNESCO want to remove it’s “mark of shame”, “it must do more than host a conference on anti-Semitism. It must stop practicing anti-Semitism, and it must stop the absurdity of passing resolutions that deny the connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel – between the Jewish people and our eternal capital, Jerusalem.”