The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will celebrate Israel’s Independence Day next week by voting on anti-Israel resolutions. The resolutions will be presented to the Executive Board in Paris and will expand on previous UNESCO declarations by declaring the Jewish presence in West Jerusalem to be illegal.
Diplomatic sources informed the Jerusalem Post that the focus of the new resolutions will be to challenge Israeli sovereignty in all of Jerusalem. An initial draft composed by ten European countries was presented to UNESCO last month by a group of Arab states. The draft stated that “any action taken by Israel, the Occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction, and administration on the City of Jerusalem, are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever.”
The wording of this resolution goes further than previous UNESCO resolutions, which negated the Jewish connection to East Jerusalem and its holy sites while granting a religious monopoly of the city to Islam. If accepted next week, this will be the first time UNESCO has undermined Jewish sovereignty in West Jerusalem.
The resolution is also expected to reaffirm that the Jewish holy sites in Hebron and Bethlehem are Muslim. As in previous UNESCO resolutions, the Cave of the Patriarchs is referred to as Ibrahimi Mosque, and the Tomb of Rachel is referred to as Bilal bin Rabah Mosque, both being “an integral part of Palestine”.
“UNESCO has returned to the ritual of political anti-Israeli decisions that undermines anything Israel does in Jerusalem,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
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