UNESCO passes resolution rejecting Israeli sovereignty of Jerusalem

UNESCO passes 19th resolution against State of Israel; Netanyahu: Today there are more countries abstaining or supporting Israel than countries against Israel. That is a change, for the first time.

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UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, voted in a new resolution that denies Israel’s historic and legal sovereignty in Jerusalem on Tuesday, the same day as Israel’s Independence Day.

The resolution was brought to the Executive Board of UNESCO, with 22 votes in favor and 10 opposed. 23 states abstained from the vote. The Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Greece, Great Britain, Paraguay, Lithuania, Togo, the USA, Ukraine voted against the resolution, Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Sudan, , Malaysia, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Vietnam, Sweden, Russia, China, Brazil and Nicaragua voted in favor of the resolution.

It was brought to the board through Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan- Arab member states on behalf of the Palestinians and claims that “Any action taken by Israel, the occupying power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction, and administration on the city of Jerusalem, are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever.”

The Palestinians efforts come just as a day before Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas is to meet with President Donald Trump in Washington. The Trump Administration is transforming anti-Israel bias at the United Nations.

Prime Minister Netanyahu responded to UNESCO’s recent anti-Israel maneuver, highlighting the growing support for Israel, as seen in abstentions. He stated “There is no other people for whom Jerusalem is as holy as for the Jewish people, even though a discussion is taking place at UNESCO today that will try to deny this simple truth… Today there are more countries abstaining or supporting Israel than countries against Israel. That is a change, for the first time.”

Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister addressed the ongoing attempts to delegitimize the State of Israel, stating, “We deny UNESCO and uphold our truth, which is the truth. Throughout Jewish history, Jerusalem was the heart of the nation. This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the liberation and unification of Jerusalem and the 120th anniversary of the First Zionist Congress…”

UNESCO has passed 19 resolutions against the State of Israel to date.

A copy of the “draft decision” was released to the public, the documents referring to Israel as the “Occupying Power”. The resolution claims Israel’s construction and excavations of holy sites in Jerusalem and Hebron as illegal, as well as criticizes Israel for closing border crossings into the Gaza Strip, as well as deploring “military confrontations in around and the Gaza Strip” with no mention of terrorism.

7 months ago, UNESCO passed two anti-Israel resolutions, denying Jewish history in Jerusalem. The first resolution passed, a proposal submitted by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar and Sudan in 2015, passed, the resolution claiming the Temple Mount, the most significant and important religious site for Jews, is only sacred to Muslims. One week later, the organization voted in the “Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls”.

In June of 2016, UNESCO voted that the Temple Mount would be referred to as “Al-Aqsa” in all official documents and official reference. Just a few weeks later, UNESCO voted to return the holy site to the “historical status quo” before the 1967 war.