The United Nation’s cultural body passed the latest in a series of resolutions that denies Israeli claims to Jerusalem, in a move forcefully condemned by Israel. It was also seen as a diplomatic feat due to the growing number of countries that opposed it, according to a report by the Times Of Israel.
Submitted to UNESCO’s Executive Board by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan, the resolution on “Occupied Palestine,” which indicates that Israel has no legal or historical rights anywhere in Jerusalem, was expected to pass, given the automatic anti-Israel majority in the 58-member body.
The vote, which coincided with Israel’s Independence Day, passed with 22 countries in favor, 23 abstentions, 10 opposed, and the representatives of three countries absent. The 10 countries that voted against the resolution were the US, UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Greece, Paraguay, Ukraine, Togo, and Germany.
Its wording about Jerusalem was slightly less harsh than previous resolutions, in that it does affirm the importance of the city to the “three monotheistic religions.”
In the moments after the vote passed, Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-Hacohen, draped in a large Israeli flag, addressed the meeting.
“Even now, after this miserable vote, this blue and white flag is flying high above the Temple Mount and throughout Israel’s eternal capital city, Jerusalem, waving in the wind, saying to all ‘here we are, and we are here to stay,'” Shama-Hacohen said.
This is not a surprise to us at the Birmingham Jewish Federation. The UN has a history of being extremely anti-Israel. US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has spoken several times about how she intends to address this anti-Israel bias. We hope that her influence will be positive.