“Occupied Palestine” at the UNESCO Executive Board

“Occupied Palestine” at the UNESCO Executive Board

“UNESCO serves as an alternative reality - fiddling in the Chamber while the Middle East burns”

Paris, 10 April 2018

The Wiesenthal Centre has received copies of the two draft resolutions submitted by Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan, to be discussed by the current UNESCO Executive Board tomorrow Wednesday 11 April.

The Palestinian Delegation is calling for passage of Item 25, “Occupied Palestine”, without a vote or debate.

The Wiesenthal Centre’s Permanent Observer at UNESCO, Dr. Shimon Samuels, heard from several member-states that “passage is inevitable due to 'Palestine-fatigue' which leans towards, at first glance, the 'moderate' character of the 4 point Draft, especially Article 3, that reaffirms 'the importance of Jerusalem for the three monotheistic religions,'... an empty mantra devalued by Articles 2 and 4,” warned Samuels.

Article 2 brings through the backdoor all conceivable anti-Israel prior resolutions. Article 4 on “Occupied Palestine” endorses within this construct the Palestinization of Jerusalem, THE TWO PALESTINIAN SITES IN AL-KHALIL/Hebron and Bethlehem - an oblique de-judaization of the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb,” stressed the Centre.

This will be folllowed by the perennial Item 26, “Educational and Cultural Institutions in the Occupied Arab Territories”, sub-titled 1. Occupied Palestine and 2. Occupied Syrian Golan.

“While ignoring the current poison gas attacks and constant massacres in neighbouring Syria, the Turkish flagrant aggression on Syrian Kurds, Russian murderous attacks on Syrian civilians and the terror-training of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah threatened upon Israel, UNESCO serves as an alternative reality - fiddling in the Chamber while the Middle East burns,” asserted Samuels.

The newly-elected Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, was urged in February, by Centre officials, Samuels and Rabbi Abraham Cooper, to focus on depoliticization. Indeed, in her speech, she called for combating “radicalism and antisemitism,” citing a new project with the United Nations and Canada to promote deradicalization in five Arab countries including Jordan and Tunisia, but not for the Palestinians,” noted the Centre.


Dr. Shimon Samuels with Amb. Carmel Shama Hacohen, Israel's Permanent Delegate to UNESCO

The Palestinian Delegation asked all member-states to “co-sponsor” the “Occupied Palestine” resolutions while, at the same time, distributing their President Abbas’ Easter message, in which he patronizes Christianity, conveniently forgetting that Bethlehem is almost void of Christians who fled Jihadist threats.

“There is perhaps a flicker of light in the darkness, those frustrated diplomats, predominantly from Latin America and the very few WEOG states (in UN jargon, Western, European and Others Group), who, in the corridors, cajole their peers, their capitals and the UNESCO Secretariat to simply place the “Occupied Palestine” resolutions at the bottom of the pile, thereby postponing the debate until the next session in October... Annoyance at Palestinian fast-track, monopolization and time-wasting, may one day - irregardless of Israel - bring back UNESCO to the important agenda for which it was created,” concluded Samuels.


For further information, contact Shimon Samuels at +33 609 770 158, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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