B’nai B’rith International condemns the rote approval of a basket of anti-Israel resolutions by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) executive board session which concluded on April 15. In total, six anti-Israel draft resolutions were presented, including one again recasting two foremost Jewish holy sites—the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and the Tomb of Rachel in Bethlehem—as Palestinian, primarily Muslim sites.
Another motion renewed a call for scheduling a “monitoring mission” on historic places in Jerusalem—a clear ploy to further smear the Jewish state within the U.N. system and to exploit UNESCO as a political tool in place of substantive Palestinian engagement in talks and compromise with Israel.
The resolution calling for “monitoring” in Jerusalem was the only item that did not pass by consensus. The United States was the only country to vote against that resolution, while 21 states abstained on it. Particularly disturbing, some European members actually voted in favor of the motion, including the United Kingdom, Italy, France and Spain. Israel is not a member of the executive board.
The votes taken at UNESCO are counterproductive to the peace process and will only further serve to discredit the agency and divert it from its own legitimate mission.