Stand for Israel has kept you updated on the impending vote by the United Nations Educational, Cultural, and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) - a vote on a resolution that denies Jewish ties to Jerusalem's holiest sites. Today, The Jerusalem Post's Tovah Lazaroff reports, UNESCO approved the resolution in a dramatic vote that had much less support than first expected:
In a dramatic upset the World Heritage Committee approved Wednesday, with less than a majority vote, a resolution that ignored Jewish ties to the Temple Mount.
Israel had feared the matter would pass by consensus, or that only a few of the 21-member states would abstain or oppose the text.
Instead, Tanzania and Croatia had asked for a secret ballot. When the votes were counted, only 10 countries had voted for the motion, two opposed it, eight abstained and one nation, Jamaica, was absent from the room.
The last minute twists and turns, were part of an Israeli bluff to counter a Palestinian threat intended to pressure WHC to pass the resolution by consensus.
The Palestinian Authority and Jordan had warned that they would strengthen the Muslim claims to the site in the resolution, unless there was a consensus vote on the existing text, which was a softer version than the one the WHC approved last year.
Israel allowed them to believe they had the consensus support. Part of that strategy was the release statements to the media about how Israel expected a major loss at the WHC meeting in Paris.
Assuming that consensus support, the Palestinians and the Jordanians submitted the softer version of the resolution for a vote on Wednesday. It was only until the meeting opened, and Tanzania and Croatia called for a secret ballot, that they suddenly understood that events would not go as planned...