UNESCO’s executive board has formally adopted a controversial resolution Tuesday morning, which effectively denies the deep historic Jewish connection to holy sites in Jerusalem.

The board approved the measure in its morning session at Paris-based UNESCO with a majority of its members, as required, voting for the adoption.

The resolution, titled “Occupied Palestine,” was the latest of several measures at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization over decades that Israelis see as evidence of ingrained anti-Israel bias within the United Nations, where Israel and its allies are far outnumbered by Arab countries and their supporters. Israel’s concern has mounted since UNESCO states admitted the Palestinians as members in 2011.

Israel last week suspended its ties with UNESCO over the draft resolution, which was opposed by six of the group’s 52-member nations, including the USA, the United Kingdom, Germany, The Netherlands, Lithuania and Estonia.

The result means that UNESCO will only refer to the Temple Mount complex by Islamic names (Al-Aqsa Mosque and Haram al-Sharif) and no longer use other names in Hebrew and English (Har HaBayit or Temple Mount).


The vote cast on Thursday for the draft resolution resulted in the same outcome as Tuesday’s decision. However, a second vote was called after Mexico, which originally voted in favour of the contentious resolution, announced that it had taken issue with the sections only referencing the holy site by its Islamic names.

Mexico therefore sought to withdraw and change its previous vote just one day before the UNESCO executive board was set to close proceedings on the resolution. However, Mexico’s apparent mea culpa never raised hopes in Israel that the decision would be reversed in a second vote since the majority of states required to pass the resolution maintained their stance.

Source: YNetNews / CUFI