The Silver Lining in UNESCO’s Latest Anti-Israel Vote
The Fellowship | May 4, 2017
While those who stand for Israel were appalled by this week’s United Nations vote to deny Jewish ties to the Holy City, there was something positive to come from the resolution. JNS’ Paul Miller writes that UNESCO’s anti-Israel bias only served to highlight the growing international support for Israel:
…the measure also reaffirms “the importance of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls for the three monotheistic religions,” language Israeli officials view as an improvement from two UNESCO resolutions passed in October 2016 that ignore all Jewish and Christian connections to Jerusalem’s holy sites and refer to the Temple Mount exclusively by its Islamic name…
Israel’s envoy to UNESCO, Carmel Shama, said the number of countries supporting Israel or abstaining was a “significant victory” given how little support the Jewish state typically has in the U.N., according to the Jerusalem Post.
Arab states lobbied European Union nations ahead of the vote, hoping the new language would unite Europe against the Jewish state. Germany, which originally led EU efforts to support the updated wording, ultimately voted against the measure.
Sharma said Arab states were shocked to learn that only one European nation, Sweden, supported their resolution.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also saw a silver lining in the vote, telling foreign diplomats, “The number of countries who support this absurd UNESCO resolution is getting smaller.” He noted, “A year ago it was 32, six months ago it dropped to 26 and it now dropped to 22…”