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September 5, 2015 / 21 Elul, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘UNESCO’

US: ‘UNESCO’s Decision Is Wrong and Should Be Reversed’

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

The Obama administration is “deeply disappointed” with a decision by UNESCO, the United Nation’s cultural arm, to cancel the opening of an exhibition on the Jewish presence in the land of Israel and is seeking its placement “as soon as possible.”

Complaints by Arab states led UNESCO to cancel the exhibition, organized by the Simon Wiesenthal Center along with the governments of Canada and Montenegro. It was scheduled to open Jan. 20 at the Paris headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power urged UNESCO to rethink the decision on the exhibition.

“UNESCO’s decision is wrong and should be reversed,” she said in a statement. “The United States has engaged at senior levels to urge UNESCO to allow this exhibit to proceed as soon as possible.”

“UNESCO is supposed to be fostering discussion and interaction between civil society and member states, and organizations such as the Wiesenthal Center have a right to be heard and to contribute to UNESCO’s mission,” Power said.

“The United States is deeply disappointed and has engaged with senior levels at UNESCO to confirm that the action to postpone does not represent a cancellation and to underscore our interest in seeing the exhibit proceed as soon as possible,” a State Department official told JTA on Friday. “We trust that UNESCO will approach this issue fairly and in a manner consistent with the organization’s guidelines and past precedent.”

UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova said Wednesday in a letter to the Simon Wiesenthal Center that the exhibit, titled “The People, the Book, the Land — 3,500 years of ties between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel,” would be postponed indefinitely. She said the decision arose out of UNESCO’s support for peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

“We have a responsibility in ensuring that current efforts in this regard are not endangered,” she wrote.

The cancellation followed a letter sent to Bokova on Jan. 14 by the Arab group at UNESCO. “The Arab group is deeply disturbed by the exhibition, which it condemns,” said the letter from the group’s president, Abdullah Elmealmi.

“This cause is championed by those who oppose peace efforts,” Elmealmi said. “The media campaign accompanying the exhibition will inevitably damage the peace talks, the incessant efforts of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and UNESCO’s neutrality.”

The State Department official said the exhibition comported with UNESCO’s mission of cultural preservation and education. “UNESCO was designed to foster just this kind of discussion and interaction between civil society and member states and the United States firmly supports the right of civil society in member states such as the Wiesenthal Center to be heard and to contribute to UNESCO’s mission,” the official said.

In an email, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s director of international affairs, Shimon Samuels, wrote that the center was outraged by Bokova’s decision. He called for an email campaign opposing cancellation.

The U.S. and Israel’s position within UNESCO has been weakened last November, when the U.N. organization suspended their voting rights, two years after both countries stopped paying dues, because UNESCO had granted full membership to the Palestinians.

The White House has since been urging the U.S. Congress to resume paying dues in order to regain its vote.

JTA content was used in this report

UNESCO Cancels Israel Expo following Arab Pressure

Friday, January 17th, 2014

Complaints by Arab states led the United Nation’s cultural arm, UNESCO, to cancel the opening of an exhibition on the Jewish presence in the land of Israel.

The exhibition, organized by the Simon Wiesenthal Center along with the governments of Canada and Montenegro, was scheduled to open Jan. 20 at the Paris headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova on Wednesday said in a letter to the Simon Wiesenthal Center that the exhibit, titled “The People, the Book, the Land — 3,500 years of ties between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel,” would be postponed indefinitely. She said the decision arose out of UNESCO’s support for peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

“We have a responsibility in ensuring that current efforts in this regard are not endangered,” she wrote.

The cancellation followed a letter sent to Bokova on Jan. 14 by the Arab group at UNESCO, which admitted the Palestinian Authority as a member in 2011. “The Arab group is deeply disturbed by the exhibition, which it condemns,” said the letter by the Arab group’s president, Abdullah Elmealmi.

“This cause is championed by those who oppose peace efforts,” Elmealmi said. “The media campaign accompanying the exhibition will inevitably damage the peace talks, the incessant efforts of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and UNESCO’s neutrality.”

In an email, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s director of international affairs, Shimon Samuels, wrote that the center was outraged by Bokova’s decision. He called for an email campaign opposing cancellation.

Council of Europe to Support of Ritual Circumcision

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

Encouraged by Israeli diplomats, parliamentarians from the Council of Europe have submitted a motion opposing an earlier resolution condemning ritual circumcision of boys.

The motion was submitted last week by 101 members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the council, according to Micaela Catalano, a spokeswoman for the assembly, which has 318 parliamentarians and whose resolutions are non-binding.

Israeli diplomats told JTA they initiated the process that led to the motion’s submission.

The Council of Europe is an intergovernmental organization that encourages dialogue and is not connected to the European Union.

The new motion calls Jewish and Muslim circumcision of boys “a religious rite which does not present risks for children and should be respected as a longstanding religious tradition.”

Titled “Freedom of religion and religious practices,” the December 11 motion urges the assembly to make recommendations on tolerance of religious practices. It also mentions an earlier, anti-circumcision resolution that the assembly passed in October.

Titled “Children’s Right to Physical Integrity,” the October resolution calls non-medical circumcision of boys a “violation of the physical integrity of children.” In an unusual move, Israel’s Foreign Ministry had condemned that resolution, warning it was helping to foster hate.

Nimrod Barkan, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, told JTA that the Israeli Foreign Ministry, through its missions around the world, had campaigned over the last two months to collect signatures of council parliamentarians opposing the October resolution. That resolution had passed thanks to 78 assembly members out of the 91 who participated in that vote.

The assembly’s bureau will decide next month whether to follow up on the new motion by compiling a report on religious freedoms or to take no further action, Catalano, the assembly spokeswoman, told JTA. If a report is compiled, the assembly will vote on whether to adopt its resolutions.

Resolutions passed by the assembly cannot be revised, but new ones may be passed, she added.

UNESCO Suspends US, Israel Voting Rights over Palestinian Admission

Sunday, November 10th, 2013

The United Nations’ cultural body suspended the voting rights of the United States and Israel two years after they stopped paying dues in protest over its granting full membership to the Palestinians.

Both countries missed a Friday deadline to provide an official justification of non-payment and a plan to pay back the missed dues to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, a source told Reuters. The source said that failure automatically triggered the suspension of voting rights.

As of the Friday morning deadline, “nothing was received from the United States,” the source said. Two separate diplomatic sources also confirmed the deadline had been missed, triggering the suspension of voting rights.

The withdrawal of U.S. funding — which to date amounts to about $240 million, or some 22 percent of UNESCO’s budget — has plunged the organization into a financial crisis, forcing it to cut programs and slash spending, Reuters reported.

The United States has characterized UNESCO’s move as a misguided attempt to bypass the two-decade old peace process. Washington says only a resumption of peace talks ending in a treaty with Israel can result in Palestinian statehood.

PA Mourns Failure to Take over Rachel’s Tomb as Muslim Holy Site

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Tens of thousands of Jews are visiting Rachel’s Tomb Tuesday, the anniversary of her death as described in the Torah, to pray for Rachel to cry for them that their prayers be answered.

No tears need be shed for the Palestinian Authority, which can mourn for itself for not being able to hoodwink the world to believe Rachel’s Tomb is a Muslim holy site.

The Torah states in Genesis (B’reisheit’), “And Rachel died, and was buried on the way to Efrat, which is Bethlehem. And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel’s grave unto this day.”

Before the Palestinian Authority campaign to rewrite the Bible and ancient history, Muslim authorities for centuries had acknowledged that Rachel’s Tomb is Jewish.

Excited by their blood-letting suicide bombings, firebomb and shooting attacks on Jews in the 1990s, the Palestinian Authority suddenly stopped referring to the site as “Rachel’s Dome” and called it the Mosque of Bilal ibn Rabah.

The manufactured tradition became more popular as Muslim clerics in the Arab world pounded the pulpit that the binding of Isaac (Yitzchak) actually is the binding of Ishmael, that the Holy Temples never existed and that the Western Wall really was the hitching post for the Muslim prophet Mohammed’s horse, may his and it memories be forgotten.

More amazing than the fibs that the Palestinian Authority invented was the acceptance of them by the anti-Israel crowd, especially  UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). Last year won UNESCO support that the ancient site also belongs to Muslims even though the Tomb, “Kever Rochel” in Hebrew, existed long before Islam came into existence.

In December 2012, UNESCO director Irina Bokova accepted the view of its chief critic of Israel, Robert Serry, who also serves as UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. He warned that Israel’s defining Rachel’s Tomb and the Patriarchs’ Cave in Hevron as holy sites would be bad for the sacred ghost known as the peace process.

UNESCO said Rachel’s Tomb also belongs to Christians and Muslim, which at one time built over the Tomb. That is like saying that JFK airport is a Jewish site because there is a synagogue there.

Two years before UNESCO’s sentence to the Jewish site, Palestinian Authority  chairman Mahmoud Abbas warned that there would be a “holy war” over Rachel’s Tomb if Israel did not accept the Muslim claim that that is was an ancient mosque.

Iran went one step further  with its foreign ministry declaring that Israel’s decision to make Rachel’s Tomb a national heritage site “rises from the regime’s strategy for cleaning all the sanctities of the Muslims and Christians in the occupied Palestine to give them a Zionist identity.”

The Palestinian Authority succeeded 13 years ago in taking over Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem, a direct violation of the Oslo Accords, but the efforts of Jewish leaders in the Shomron (Samaria) the past two years have enabled Jews to worship there under IDF guard.

The Oslo Accords interim agreement in 1995 states that security arrangements must “ensure free, unimpeded and secure access to the relevant Jewish holy sites.”

The Palestinian Authority has no problem with that. All it has to do is drive out the Jews with terrorist attacks and then convince UNESCO that Rachel’s Tomb is not a Jewish holy site.

That is the impetus for the Palestinian Authority to call Kever Rachel the  Bilal ibn Rabah mosque.

Jews traveling to pray at Rachel’s Tomb on her yahrzheit Tuesday can thank none other than former Haredi Knesset Member Menachem Porush that they are able to do so.

During the height of the Oslo mirage in 1995, Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau and MK Porush appealed to Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin not to go through with his plan to turn Rachel’s Tomb over to the Palestinian Authority.

Rabbi Lau told the Prime Minister, “One does not part from one’s mother, and MK Porush broke down in tears, crying on Rabin’s shoulders.

Rabin surrendered, and today, the Palestinian Authority can mourn to Mohammed that truth has triumphed over at least one of its lies.

Thousands of Jews at Rachel's tomb on the even of the anniversary of her death.

Thousands of Jews at Rachel’s tomb on the even of the anniversary of her death.

Arab Incitement: Israel to Raze Al Aqsa Mosque, Build Holy Temple

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Israel was prepared for the worst when UNESCO accepted the Palestinian Authority as a member last year, and now the worst has come in the form of an agency resolution condemning Israel for supposedly endangering the holy city, a declared World Heritage Site.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs finally ripped off its polite diplomatic costume on Sunday and harshly reprimanded UNESCO for letting itself be “hijacked” by the Palestinian Authority agenda.

Referring to the latest resolution, the ministry stated, “This is a dark day for UNESCO, a day the organization will want to erase from its history … Exactly as Israel had warned in the recent past, the Palestinians are exploiting their admission to UNESCO as a member state in order to hijack the agenda and drag this important UN agency into the abyss of politicized manipulation.

“The resolution… is nothing but a heap of statements disconnected from reality. There is no linkage between the resolution’s language and the actual situation on the ground, as the text only reflects the clichés of the anti-Israel bubble which the Palestinians cultivate within UNESCO.”

The World Heritage Committee condemned Israel for “recent demolitions and intrusive digging at the Magharbeh Gate pathway” and called on Israel to prevent any further provocative action taken by “Israeli religious extremist groups,” referring to any Jew who dares to ascend the Temple Mount, let alone be charged for the criminal act of trying to pray there.

At least twice a week, Arab media, including those within the Palestinian Authority, publicize stories of Jews “storming” the Temple Mount and planning to build the Third Temple.

The Saudi Gazette, in perfect timing for chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry later this week, screamed in a headline on Tuesday, “Israel planning to raze Al-Aqsa to build ‘second temple.”

Of course, the Second Temple was razed nearly 2,000 years ago by the Roman Empire, but if you are going to write fiction, go all the way. Considering the Palestinian Authority’s strategy to deny that the Holy Temples ever existed, it would have more logical for the Saudi Gazette to write that Israel plans to build the “First Temple,” but let’s leave that for its editors.

And keep in mind Kerry was in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday and profusely praised the kingdom for its 2002 Peace Initiative that would bring peace to the Middle East if Israel were simply to accept it, surrender the Old City, surrender, all of Judea and Samaria, surrender a Jewish majority in what would remain of Israel by accepting the immigration of several foreign Arabs and in return win the grand prize of “normalization” of ties with Arab League states. And Israel’s Foreign Ministry would be on a part of the boat carrying the rest of Israel on the Mediterranean Sea.

And how does the Arab world know that Israel is planning to destroy the Al Aqsa mosque?

Excavations, of course. Every time an Israeli archaeologist sticks a shovel into the ground in the Old City, he has one and only objective – undermining the foundations of the mosque and causing its collapse.

Any idiot could figure that out – and only an idiot, including the editors of Arab incitement. Speaking of idiots, the Obama administration has lauded the Palestinian Authority for stopping incitement against Israel.

The idiot at the Saudi Gazette noted, “The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage said that the Israeli authorities began the excavations in the southern part of Al-Magharebah Gate, the eastern part of the Umayyad palaces and at the entrance of the Wadi Hilweh neighborhood.…

“It warned that the use of huge machines in the excavation work in the area puts in serious danger the foundations of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. It added that the Israeli will build in the sites several facilities, including synagogue for women, restroom facilities, police station, tourists’ centers, a network of bridges and iron stairs.”

Where are the Women of the Wall? They obviously are part of this plot to destroy the mosque and build the Third Temple. The “new synagogue” for women actually consists of renovations at the Western Wall to allow them to pray in a minyan and pretend they are men. Fine, let it be and blame the women for this ugly plot.

Israel Comes to its Senses, Cancels UNESCO Mission

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is going to meet on Wednesday in Paris to discuss Israel’s refusal to allow a fact finding mission into the country to look into complaints of changes to the historic character of East Jerusalem, PA Foreign Minister Riyad Malki said Tuesday, according to the official PA news agency WAFA.

The mission was originally supposed to arrive in Jerusalem on Monday, and spend five days looking into charges of changes to the historic and cultural character of East Jerusalem.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry official told AFP that Israel cancelled the delegation’s visit because “the Palestinians were not respecting the understandings. The visit was supposed to be professional, (but) they were taking measures that showed they were politicizing the event and not letting the delegation focus on professional sides of it.”

In April, Israel agreed that UNESCO could assess the state of the Old City of Jerusalem, following pressure from Jordan, as well as the PA, which became a member of the organization in 2011.

Speaking on Voice of Palestine radio, Malki said that Israel “used false pretexts to justify its decision not to allow the mission into the country,” such as the claim that the mission’s work was political.

“We will not accept such claims,” he said, explaining that the Palestinian Authority asked UNESCO to take a stand on the sudden change in the Israeli position, and that a meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday with the representatives of the Palestinian, Jordanian and Israeli delegations.

Malki said he expected the meeting to agree on a new date for the arrival of the mission in Jerusalem, adding that international pressure on Israel is going to force it to allow the UNESCO team to do its work.

Israel had agreed to the arrival of the mission in a deal brokered by the Russian delegation to UNESCO according to which the Palestinians would postpone until the fall discussion of five resolutions condemning Israel for the changes it has introduced to the city since 1967.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-comes-to-its-senses-cancels-unesco-mission/2013/05/21/

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