Israel should have left UNESCO years ago

Caroline Glick today listed the ways that UNESCO has punished Israel since 1974:

In 1974, UNESCO voted to boycott Israel and to “withhold assistance from Israel in the fields of education, science and culture because of Israel’s persistent alteration of historic features in Jerusalem.”

UNESCO’s moves to deny Jewish ties to Jerusalem and the rest of historic Israel have continued unabated ever since. For instance, in 1989, UNESCO condemned “Israel’s occupation of Jerusalem,” claiming it was destroying the city through “acts of interference, destruction and transformation.”

In 1996, UNESCO held a symposium on Jerusalem at its Paris headquarters. No Jewish or Israeli groups were invited to participate.

Beginning in 1996, the Arab Wakf on the Temple Mount began systematically destroying artifacts of the Second Temple. The destruction was undertaken during illegal excavations under the Temple Mount carried out to construct an illegal, unlicensed mosque at Solomon’s Stables.

UNESCO never bothered to condemn this act. It was silent despite the fact that the Wakf’s actions constituted a grave breach of the very international laws related to antiquities and sacred sites that UNESCO is charter bound to protect. Similarly, UNESCO never condemned Palestinian desecration of Rachel’s Tomb, of Joesph’s Tomb or of any of the ancient synagogues in Gaza and Jericho which they razed to the ground.

The reason for UNESCO’s miscarriage of its responsibilities is clear. Far from fulfilling its mission of protecting world heritage sites, since 1974 UNESCO has been a partner in one of the greatest cultural crimes in human history – the Palestinian and pan-Arab attempt to wipe Jewish history in the Land of Israel off the historical record.

As a result of the UNESCO decision — which violated its own constitution — to accept the non-state of ‘Palestine’ as a member, the US and Canada have decided to withhold payment of UNESCO dues (the US alone pays $80 million a year, 22% of UNESCO’s annual expenses).

And so has Israel, which has suspended its $2 million payment.

UNESCO does do a lot of useful things besides deny the connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, which is probably why Israel remained a part of it for so many years.  But if the Jewish state itself supports an organization which actively delegitimizes it — and this is the effect of wiping out the historical connection of the Jewish people with the land and Jerusalem in particular — then it in effect endorses the process. If Israel does not vehemently oppose its own delegitimization, who will?

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One Response to “Israel should have left UNESCO years ago”

  1. Shalom Freedman says:

    I do not know if it would be wiser to withdraw completely from UNESCO or not. A withdrawal could be perceived as a successful step in delegitimizing Israel, and expelling Israel step by step from the international community.
    On another point. I still do not understand why we did not forcibly stop the Wafq from its destructive actions. I in fact do not know where the situation is now.