In an extremely rare diplomatic victory, for the first time in four years, the UNESCO Executive Board will stand by Israel: instead of endorsing two proposals submitted by the Arab states on Palestine and Jerusalem, the chairman of the executive committee, Michael Worbs, will propose a unanimous rejection of both, meaning that discussion of said proposals will be delayed for at least six months.
“Until I hear the chairman’s gavel, I will not believe it is happening,” Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama Hacohen told Channel 2 News. “The withdrawal of the proposals from the vote and their postponement for at least six months are certainly encouraging, relative to the obsessive persecution of the State of Israel and the Jewish people – but they are not sufficient.”
Shama Hacohen, who has endured in his short tenure several horrifying UNESCO resolutions that denied any and all connection between the Jewish people and several Jewish relics in eastern Jerusalem, added that “time will tell whether this is a tactical change or a change of approach and a significant progress toward clearing the table and the organization of incitement and politicization against us.”
“Peace will not be achieved at UNESCO, but confidence-building measures are possible,” the envoy said.
Several Arab countries, led by Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, have removed two resolutions critical of Israeli policies in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip from the agenda of an upcoming UNESCO executive board session in Paris this week.
A senior official in Israel Foreign Ministry told Ha’aretz that President Donald Trump’s peace envoy Jason Greenblatt was personally involved in getting Jordan and the PA to abandon their resolutions at least for now. The senior official insisted Israel had not pledged anything in return for the move.