The director-general of the UN’s cultural agency UNESCO signaled her dismay and opposition to her organization’s own members on Friday, a day after they adopted a resolution that rejects the historic Jewish connection to holy sites in Jerusalem.
Though she did not explicitly mention the resolution, Irina Bokova made her disapproval of the motion clear, saying that efforts to deny history and Jerusalem’s complex multi-faith character harm UNESCO.
“The heritage of Jerusalem is indivisible, and each of its communities has a right to the explicit recognition of their history and relationship with the city,” Bokova said in a statement.
Bokova noted that the “cultural and spiritual traditions” of all faiths in Jerusalem “build on texts and references, known by all, that are an intrinsic part of the identities and history of peoples.
“To deny, conceal or erase any of the Jewish, Christian or Muslim traditions undermines the integrity of the site, and runs counter to the reasons that justified its inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage list,” she said. “When these divisions carry over into UNESCO, an organization dedicated to dialogue and peace, they prevent us from carrying out our mission.”
It was not immediately clear what steps, if any, Bokova intended to take in light of her statement. The resolution was approved Thursday at UNESCO’s committee stage. It must still be validated by the Executive Board of UNESCO when it meets early next week, but the wording is unlikely to change.
Read the full article at Times of Israel