UNESCO denial of the Jewish link to Jerusalem
Letter to the Director General of the UNESCO Ms. Irina Bokova
We firmly condemn UNESCO's attitude about Israel, and we declare that it is absolute pernicious: it goes against history and archeology, against the unbreakable connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem, and against the values of peace and coexistence.
2016-10-18 by Friends of Israel Initiative
October 18, 2016
We the undersigned strongly condemn the terms of the resolution passed last October 13 by the UNESCO’s Executive Board on the Old City of Jerusalem. Running against all historical evidence we know, the text has undermined the prestige and credibility of UNESCO. Furthermore, the integrity of the Organization you direct and represent is unnecessarily put in doubt due to a sustained biased treatment of Israel that is not only unfair but based on pure ideological premises that do not fit with the goals of UNESCO.
Besides the denial of the historical Jewish connection with Jerusalem –and also Christians-, the resolution also deliberately omits the Israel’s protection of freedom of worship under its jurisdiction, forgets the Israel’s guarantee of freedom of access and protection of the holy sites of the three faiths in the Jerusalem Old City, misrepresents the reality by accusing Israel is harming the integrity of the Old City, and last but not the least, turns away from peace and dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.
UNESCO supposedly dedicates to “contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms”, however it is now promoting resolutions that disregard all historical and archaeological rigors, insult all Jews in the world, and alienate the positions of Israelis and Palestinians in the conflict. By passing this resolution, UNESCO has lost the connection to the reality and has betrayed one of its major goals: “Peace must be established on the basis of humanity’s moral and intellectual solidarity.”
UNESCO is therefore losing its prestige as an international organization known as the "intellectual" agency of the United Nations. To this concern, UNESCO has been kidnaped by the strategy that seeks to isolate Israel internationally, carried out by the Palestinian Authority and its allies –as you may check out in the voting results. Truth depends on an objective analysis; truth does not depend on the misuse of the history or on the political bias –a bias on Israel and Jewish heritage that UNESCO has embraced.
This approach in the UNESCO bodies is sadly not new. In this regard, UNESCO's Executive Board adopted a unilateral resolution last April 15 in the same deplorable terms.
We firmly condemn UNESCO’s attitude about Israel, and we declare that it is absolute pernicious: it goes against history and archeology, against the unbreakable connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem, and against the values of peace and coexistence.
We therefore urge you to stop UNESCO embracing these kind of actions and narrative that only denigrates the position of the organization, insults all the Jews worldwide, and keeps the peace between Israelis and Palestinians further away.
Hon. José María Aznar, former President of Spain
Hon. Lord David William Trimble, Former First Minister of Northern Ireland. Nobel Peace Prize in 1998
Hon. John Howard, former Prime Minister of Australia
Hon. Alejandro Toledo, Former President of Peru
Hon. Luis Alberto Lacalle, Former President of Uruguay
Mr. John Baird, former Foreign Minister of Canada
Mr. Uri Rosenthal, former Foreign Minister of Holland
Ambassador Giulio Terzi, Former Foreign Minister of Italy
Professor Andrew Roberts, British historian and writer
Richard Kemp, Colonel (R.) British Army
Allen B.West, Lieutenant Colonel (R.). Member of 112th US Congress
Mr. Bill Richardson, Former Governor of New Mexico
Mr. Vikran Sood, Former Head of India’s Foreign Intelligence Agency.
Mr. Roberto F. Agostinelli, Managing Director at Rhône Group, Rhone Capital
Mr. George Weigel, distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center
Mr. Carlos Alberto Montaner, Exiled Cuban author and journalist
Professor Marcello Pera, Italian philosopher and politician
Ms. Fiamma Nirenstein, Italian politician, journalist and author
Mr. Carlos Bustelo, Former Industry Minister of Spain
Mr. Rafael L. Bardají, Executive Director Friends of Israel Initiative