Israel exerts pressure to cancel UNESCO’s vote

PIC/ Gaza/

Chairman of UNESCO’s Executive Board, Michael Worbs, said communications have been underway to reach a consensus over a recent resolution denying Jewish ties to the holy al-Aqsa Mosque.

Worbs said more time and dialogue between the members of the board are needed to reach a consensus over historical ties with al-Aqsa Mosque.

Thursday’s vote, which erased any Jewish ties to the Temple Mount or Western Wall by referring to them only by their Islamic names, was taken by UNESCO’s 58-member Program and External Relations Commission in advance of its expected ratification on Tuesday by the UNESCO executive board, which is made up of the same member states.

On Friday, Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett condemned the UNESCO resolution, and instructed the Israeli committee to UNESCO to freeze ties with the UN body.

UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova, also stepped away from the decision, writing on the UNESCO website that “Jerusalem is the sacred city of the three monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam.”

The Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu chided the UN for what he called “an imbalanced approach,” which he claimed rather “indicates the absurdity of the UN’s one-sided, unbalanced attitude toward Israel.”