Monthly Archives: October 2016

As Palestinians Make Death Threats, UNESCO Votes Again On Erasing Jewish, Christian History From Jerusalem

unesco_petition
Petition with 100,000 names presented
to UNESCO Director Irina Bokova.

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — October 26, 2016 … On Tuesday October 26, 2016,  the International Legal Forum (ILF) and Israel’s delegation to the United Nations Educational, Social and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will officially submit a protest petition to UNESCO’s Director General, Irina Bokova. It carries the signatures of nearly 100,000 Jews and Christians calling upon UNESCO to recognize the deep historic, cultural and religious connection between the Jewish people and the land of Israel.

Carmel Shama Hacohen, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Israel to UNESCO, Yifa Segal, Director of the ILF, and along with Shahar Azani, StandWithUs’ Northeast Executive Director  will officially submit the petition, which objects to the mendacious UNESCO draft resolution that erases the 3,000-year-old Jewish connection to Jerusalem.

The resolution was voted on Wednesday, October 26, 2016https://www.change.org/p/unesco-stop-denying-the-jewish-connection-to-israel-and-the-holy-sites

As Jews and Christians present their petition protest several members of UNESCO who object to the Palestinians attempting to sever all historic Jewish and Christian ties to Jerusalem are now receiving death threats.

UNESCO Chief Irina Bokova has received death threats after expressing her reservations about the racist Arab-backed resolution.

“The director general has received death threats and her protection has had to be reinforced,” Carmel Shama HaCohen said on Israel Radio.

“These threats were made after her criticism” of two resolutions adopted last week at committee stage ahead of a final vote, HaCohen said, accusing Arab countries of “appalling conduct” over the drafts.

Bokova stated: “Nowhere more than in Jerusalem do Jewish, Christian and Muslim heritage and traditions share space. To deny, conceal or erase any of the Jewish, Christian or Muslim traditions undermines the integrity of the site, and runs counter to the reasons that justified its inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage list.”

Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally that the decision was patently outrageous.

“To say that the Jewish people have no connection to Jerusalem is like saying that the sun creates darkness,” Renzi said.

Italy abstained from voting on the resolution. Mexico and Brazil, which both voted in favor, later said they regretted the decision to do so and would abstain from similar votes in the future.

UNESCO was created with the clear mandate to build bridges between nations, protecting heritage and supporting cultural diversity. The Temple Mount is the holiest place in the world for the Jewish people where, according to Jewish, Greek, Roman, Christian and Islamic sources, two Jewish Temples stood.  By deliberately ignoring the over 3,000-year-old Jewish connection to the Temple Mount, UNESCO violates the basic human rights of Jews everywhere, as well as those of other religions whose beliefs and heritage include the spiritual and historical connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem. In addition, such unfounded and erroneous resolutions not only distort history, but undermine UNESCO’s own mandate to bring nations together, and support incitement and anti-Semitism which might lead to violence.

jerusalem_dec_2015

 “This petition is yet another manifestation of the deep bond between Jerusalem and the Jewish people,” said Israeli Amb. Shama-Hacohen. “The list of states and leaders expressing remorse for their past votes and object to the Arab proposals is getting longer and longer. Whomever thinks Italy’s Prime Minister was the last surprise in this regard for the Arabs, will find themselves surprised again and again. The petition presents a strong moral voice, much more than the immoral Arab proposal trying to erase 3000-year-old history with ignorance and insolence.”

“Israel respects Muslim and other faiths and their presence in our holiest of places, and it is tragic that the other side doesn’t have a leadership which will do the same, but rather one which is engaged only in doing the exact opposite. This is no longer an Israeli-Palestinian struggle, but an Arab struggle against the entire Jewish world. It is clear that Israel and the Jewish people will survive this, yet it remains unclear whether UNESCO will. Israel would like to express its profound appreciation for the organizers of this proper and sound petition, who made their way here to send a clear message to the world: we shall all defend the Jewish connection with Jerusalem, no matter where we are around the world.”

Mexico’s ambassador to UNESCO Andres Roemer walked out of last week’s vote in Paris in what appears to have been a personal protest against his country’s decision to vote in favor of the text. The ambassador, who is Jewish, then apparently contemplated resigning his post, but was urged not to by HaCohen, who wrote him a personal letter praising him as a friend of the Jewish state.

Twenty-four countries voted in favor of the resolution. Six nations (including the US, Germany and Britain) voted against and another 26 abstained.

Israel informed Bokova on Friday that it was suspending its cooperation with UNESCO over the vote, with Education Minister Naftali Bennett calling the motion a denial of history that “gives a boost to terrorism.”

“This petition reflects the views of millions of people around the world, who are unwilling to accept destructive resolutions that attempt to rewrite history,” said Segal. “Such resolutions are dangerous and undermine the very reasoning behind the existence of international organizations such as UNESCO”.

The International Legal Forum (ILF), is a pro-active legal hub for lawyers, organizations and activists from around the world joining in the battle for human rights, justice and equality in Israel and the Middle East.

UNESCO: King David, Jesus Never Existed

jerusalem_israel

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — October 14, 2016 … In a move which represents one of the largest acts of anti-semitism in modern history, UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – voted on a draft text to remove all Jewish and Christian ties to Jerusalem.

The draft text was passed at a committee stage with 24 votes in favor, six against, and 26 abstentions. Two countries were absent. The draft will now be submitted to Unesco’s executive body, which will vote on whether to adopt it.

The city of Jerusalem began in a very early period, and testimonies to this appear in three different sources. There are references to this early settlement in the Bible (Genesis 14 — The story of Abraham and the Canaanite Kings), in archaeological findings, and in independent historical sources found in other lands that had maintained political and commercial ties with the Land of Israel (especially Egypt). In that early Canaanite period, Jerusalem was one of many independent city-states that existed in the region.

Jerusalem began to be considered a city of significant regional importance only after it was conquered by the Israelite King David a few centuries later. While, during the assignment of the Promised Land to the twelve Israelite tribes, Jerusalem became part of the area of the tribe of Benjamin, it was never actually conquered by the Israelites (see Judges 19). Only when King David conquered it, did Jerusalem begin to develop as an important political center — and moreover — a significant religious center.

When King Solomon died, between 926 and 922 BCE, the ten northern Jewish tribes refused to submit to his son, Rehoboam, and revolted. From this point on, there were two kingdoms of Hebrews: in the north – Israel, and in the south – Judah. The Israelites formed their capital in the city of Samaria, and the Judaeans kept their capital in Jerusalem.

“The UNESCO theater of the absurd continues,” said Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Today that organization adopted another delusional decision stating that the Jewish People have no connection to the Temple Mount or the Western Wall. Even if they do not read the Bible, I would suggest that UNESCO members visit the Arch of Titus in Rome. On it one can see what the Romans brought back to Rome after they destroyed and looted the Second Temple on the Temple Mount 2,000 years ago. There, engraved on the Arch of Titus, is the seven-branched menorah that is the symbol of the Jewish People and, I remind you, is also the symbol of the Jewish state today. Soon, UNESCO will say that the Emperor Titus engaged in Zionist propaganda.

To say that Israel has no connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall is like saying that China has no connection to the Great Wall of China or that Egypt has no connection to the pyramids. By this absurd decision, UNESCO has lost what little legitimacy it had left.”

Netanyahu concluded: “I believe that historical truth is stronger and that truth will prevail. And today we are dealing with the truth.”

The UNESCO document refers to the Temple Mount – a sacred hilltop only by the name “al-Aqsa Mosque/al-Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary).

Israel suspended cooperation with UNESCO today, a day after the U.N. cultural agency adopted a draft resolution that Israel says denies the deep, documented historic Jewish connection to holy sites in Jerusalem.

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett said Unesco was ignoring “thousands of years of Jewish ties to Jerusalem” and was now aiding “Islamic terror” through hateful incitement, violence and Jihad.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said he was “outraged” by the vote, which he said in a statement “denies thousands of years of Jewish connection to Jerusalem’s Western Wall.

“Would UNESCO vote to deny the Christian connection to the Vatican? Or the Muslim connection to Mecca?” he asked.

unesco_nations_voted_against_israel

“The UNESCO vote claims that there is no connection between the Jewish people and the Western Wall. In fact, it is the UNESCO vote that has no connection to reality.”

American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris called the resolution “another attempt to undermine the very foundation of the State of Israel and the documented, age-old historical Jewish connection to the land. And unlike previous such resolutions, notably, not one European nation lent its support this time.”

The United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Lithuania and Estonia joined the United States in voting against the UNESCO resolution. Other European countries abstained.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said the resolution “essentially expunges the 3,000 years of Jewish connection to Jerusalem.”

“Resolutions such as these poison the atmosphere and sow mistrust making steps toward reconciliation all the more difficult,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said.

AIPAC said in a statement that by approving such a resolution, UNESCO “undermines efforts to seek a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by giving support to forces in the Palestinian community that reject reconciliation. Unfortunately, this resolution is also demonstrative of Palestinian efforts to circumvent direct negotiations by manipulating international institutions.