Ten UNESCO member states — the US, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Togo, Ukraine and the UK — voted against the resolution on Tuesday.
The low numbers in a UNESCO 22-10 vote disavowing Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem on the country’s birthday represent a diplomatic victory for Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
With 23 countries abstaining and 3 absent altogether, the 58 board members gathered in Paris approved the resolution referred to as “occupied Palestine” with minority support. The UNESCO Executive Board is expected to ratify the resolution on Friday.
“The number of countries who support this absurd UNESCO resolution is getting smaller,” Netanyahu told the diplomatic corps at an Independence Day reception.
It’s a significant shift from the passage of Jerusalem resolutions last year, with 33 nations approving a controversial anti-Israel text in April and 24 voting for it in October.
With a determined effort it will be possible to whittle that number down further, “because there is no need for these types of votes in the UN,” Netanyahu said.
Speaking at the International Bible Quiz prior to the vote, Netanyahu said that there was no nation in the world to whom Jerusalem was more holy than to the Jewish people.
“I know that today there is a vote in UESCO that will try to deny that simple truth, we reject UNESCO,” he said. Throughout Jewish history, he added, Jerusalem was “the heart of the people, the place to which everyone turned to, went to, and prayed toward.” JPost
A spokesperson for the American UN mission has roundly condemned the anti-Israel resolution that was passed by the global intergovernmental body’s cultural agency at a meeting in Paris on Tuesday.
“Once again, the United States rejects the adoption of these anti-Israel resolutions at UNESCO,” the spokesperson told The Algemeiner. “Like other parts of the UN system, UNESCO is too often used as a vehicle by member states inclined to deride and delegitimize the State of Israel. Although several of these anti-Israel resolutions are typically adopted biannually at UNESCO, over time they have become increasingly political in nature, and now attempt to deny the historic connections of the Jewish people to the holy sites of Jerusalem.”
The spokesperson continued: “These biased resolutions are counterproductive to the core work of UNESCO, discredit the organization, and do nothing to advance Israeli-Palestinian issues. There is no place for them in an organization that is meant to be impartial. The United States will continue to object to efforts to politicize the organization and its important function on world heritage issues.” Algeimeiner