B’nai B’rith International is outraged that the United Nations system is once again allowing itself to bend to the political will of the Palestinians with the latest politicization of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee and a report from the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child.
During the previous meeting of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee in April 2013, it was agreed that a special technical mission would be organized to visit the Old City of Jerusalem to examine the current state of the site, which is inscribed on the World Heritage List. The Palestinians then tried to shift the focus of the mission from technical to political issues, in contravention of an earlier agreement between Israel and the Palestinians and supported by a number of key UNESCO member states. After the Palestinians reneged on their agreement, Israel decided it would be best to not go forward with the mission.
Then in an unsurprising turn of events, the Palestinians brought forth a resolution at the current session of the World Heritage Committee meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia condemning Israeli policies regarding the site. The resolution blasts Israel for allegedly not supplying the committee with essential information regarding the current state of the Old City and for harming the site.
“This is just the latest example of the Palestinians exploiting their unilaterally-pursued elevated status within such bodies as UNESCO to push an anti-Israel agenda and to divert the U.N. from upholding its mission,” B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs said. “The World Heritage Committee has important business to which it should be attending, rather than singling out Israel and continuing to fuel the Palestinians’ delusional worldview.”
In addition to the resolution from the World Heritage Committee, the United Nations continued its Israel-bashing this week with the release of a Committee on the Rights of the Child report that rehashes varied accusations of alleged wrongdoing by Israeli police and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
The report on the alleged Israeli mistreatment of Palestinian minors lacks any real acknowledgement of the exploitation by Palestinians of youth in violence against Israel. The committee reiterates its “deepest concern” from previous reports that children on both sides are killed or injured, but focuses almost exclusively on purported victims in the Palestinian territories. The effect of rocket attacks and other forms of terrorism on the wellbeing of Israeli children is not discussed. Also not discussed is the danger to Israelis, both security personnel and civilians, who have been killed in attacks by Palestinian youths, nor does it recognize the innumerable instances Israeli hospitals and doctors provide health care for Palestinian youths.
“The approach taken by the Palestinians at the world body is extremely detrimental to peace efforts.” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said. “Furthermore, it is a stumbling block in the way of the attempts by the United States and others to bring the two sides back to the negotiating table without preconditions, a position accepted by Israel but rejected by the Palestinians.”