UNESCO Vote on Yerushalayim and Har HaBayis Postponed

YERUSHALAYIM -
The facade of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)
The facade of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)

The U.N.’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) delayed Tuesday a controversial vote on a draft resolution that would challenge Jewish historical ties to the Har HaBayis.

Minutes before the proceedings began the vote was postponed after the Palestinian and Jordanian delegations, which had proposed the resolution, could not secure enough votes to ensure its passage. It is unclear if and when they will propose the resolution again.

Israel put pressure on U.N. members to reject the vote, including in a letter Monday by Foreign Ministry chief Dore Gold, as well as vocal complaints from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu after a previous UNESCO vote on Yerushalayim in April.

Gold sent out a letter Monday urging other U.N. members not to vote for the “offensive” resolution.

“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.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nachshon told The Times of Israel that Israel’s diplomats had worked hard to reach attain this outcome.

“Israel is constantly working, both directly and through friendly countries, to prevent the resolution’s proposal, as well as to ensure a majority is not reached,” he said.

A similar resolution adopted by UNESCO’s executive board in April infuriated Israel.

The April resolution was opposed by the U.S. along with six other nations including: Estonia, Germany Lithuania, the Netherlands and the U.K.