Controversial UNESCO’s decision angers Israel

United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) on Wednesday morning approved a controversial resolution that ignores Jewish and Christian ties to the Temple Mount. (Times of Israel)

According to a text provided by Palestinian officials, the resolution adopted by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee in Paris refers to the compound – revered by Jews as Temple Mount and by Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) – only as a “Muslim holy site of worship“, just as a similar motion did on Oct. 13. (Reuters)

Israel’s Ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-Hacohen said: “With respect to the content, the Arab nations had no choice but to beat an almost complete retreat on the issue of the Western Wall.” (Jerusalem Post)

Israeli PM Netanyahu issued a statement condemning the UNESCO decision which was made last week. “The attempt to detach the people of Israel from its heritage is absurd,” the statement said. “If the places where the fathers and mothers of the Jewish nation are buried, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Leah and Rachel some 4,000 years ago are not part of the Jewish heritage then what is?” (Haaretz)

Welcoming the passage of the resolution, Saeb Erekat, the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, said: “Through an orchestrated campaign, Israel has been using archeological claims and distortion of facts as a way to legitimise the annexation of occupied east Jerusalem. (The Guardian)

The resolution is the latest of several measures at UNESCO 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. (France24)