As UNESCO prepares for a new vote on a hotly-contested resolution that undermines Israel’s right to exist, the head of the U.N. cultural agency says she’ll fight anti-Israel efforts:
In a letter dated October 18, UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova responded to Education Minister Naftali Bennett’s suspension of ties with the organization over a controversial resolution passed by its member states and ratified last week, which ignored Jewish and Christian ties to the Temple Mount.
The body’s World Heritage Committee is set to vote later this week on a similar text omitting Jewish connections to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
“Allow me to reassure you of my absolute commitment to continue all efforts in countering all forms of anti-Semitism, including those drawing on partial or distorted visions of culture and history, as well as those that seek to challenge the existence of Israel,” Bokova wrote in the letter, a copy of which was distributed by Bennett’s office on Sunday.
“I am determined to continue working towards this objective and to redouble efforts to build trust on the basis of respect and mutual understanding, which are the guiding principle of the organization.”
Bokova noted that UNESCO decisions are taken by its member states rather than by the director-general of the organization and stressed she had in the past urged UNESCO members against exacerbating tensions with Jerusalem.