Israel Denounces UNESCO Resolution on Yerushalayim

The UNESCO headquarters in Paris. (Michel Ravassard/UNESCO )
The UNESCO headquarters in Paris. (Michel Ravassard/UNESCO )

Israel and UNESCO were on a collision course again on Monday, as Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold told the U.N. body to drop its demand on Israel to cease archaeological and restoration work in the Old City of Yerushalayim.

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is considering a draft resolution submitted by Jordan and the Palestinians which ignores the ancient Jewish ties to the holy sites.

In response, Gold sent a letter to UNESCO on Monday in which he accused them of being totally “disconnected from reality.”

“As the historical heritage sites of this area are being systematically destroyed by jihadist forces, such as the Islamic State, in Syria and Iraq, UNESCO’s adoption of utterly false allegations about Israeli archaeological practices is misplaced and hypocritical, at best,” Gold said.

The resolution is scheduled to be voted on in the next week by the 21 members of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee convened in Istanbul.

The resolution, which treats Har HaBayis as a Muslim site, criticizes work in the Old City, and refers to the Kosel only once, in quotation marks.

Gold also noted that the resolution disregards Christian claims to the sites.

“We urge you to oppose this effort to distort history, which will offend the members of the Jewish and Christian faiths, and undermine the credibility of UNESCO in the future,” Gold wrote.