UNESCO Resolution on Occupied Palestine
by Stephen Lendman
A scheduled May 2 executive board vote is expected to adopt it, coinciding with Israel’s so-called independence day – the Palestinian Nakba.
UNESCO says its resolution aims to safeguard “the cultural heritage of Palestine and the distinctive character of East Jerusalem.”
It rightfully calls Israeli control of Jerusalem “illegal” and “null and void” – an international city recognized by no nations as its capital.
An unnamed Israeli official said UNESCO’s board “refuses to stop the politicization that undermines the states of the organization.”
“Contradicting the recommendation of UNESCO’s director-general and the promises and statements of various other leaders last year, UNESCO repeats its ritual of passing political anti-Israel resolutions that dispute any action Israel takes in Jerusalem, adopts previous resolutions that deny the Jewish link to the city, and recycles political condemnations against Israel regarding Gaza.”
An unnamed US official claimed “UNESCO is too often used as a vehicle by member states inclined to delegitimize the state of Israel.”
“Although several of these anti-Israel resolutions are typically adopted biannually by UNESCO, over time they have become increasingly political in nature and now question Israel’s basic claim to historic sites.”
“These resolutions are counterproductive to the core work of UNESCO and do nothing to advance the goal we all share of a two-state solution.”
Fact: In 1948, Israel stole 78% of historic Palestine. In 1967, it took the rest.
Fact: Its occupation is illegal, its longstanding treatment of Palestinians ruthless. Its blockade of Gaza and wars at its discretion are high crimes against peace.
UNESCO’s resolution affirms “the importance of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls for the three monotheistic religions.”
“(A)ll legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and in particular the ‘basic law’ on Jerusalem, are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith.”
In August 1980, Israel illegally declared “Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel.”
UNESCO’s resolution says it “regrets the failure of the Israeli occupying authorities to cease the persistent excavations, tunneling, works and projects in East Jerusalem, particularly in and around the Old City of Jerusalem, which are illegal under international law.”
It criticizes Israel’s “refusal to implement the UNESCO request to the Director-General to appoint a permanent representative to be stationed in East Jerusalem.”
It “deplores the continuous Israeli closure of the Gaza Strip, which harmfully affects the free and sustained movement of personnel, students and humanitarian relief items.”
It calls “(t)he two Palestinian sites of Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi/Tomb of the Patriarchs in Al-Khalil/Hebron and the Bilal Ibn Rabah Mosque/Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem…integral part(s) of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.”
Israel and Washington oppose the resolution, expected to be adopted on Tuesday.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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