May 4, 2017
JCRC rejects Tuesday’s UNESCO vote rejecting Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem
The Jewish Community Relations Committee (JCRC) of the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond (JCFR) denounces the approval of a resolution, Tuesday, May 2, 2017, – on Israel’s Independence Day – by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) denying Israel’s claim to Jerusalem.
Submitted by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan, the resolution, titled, “Occupied Palestine,” purports that Israel has no legal or historical rights to any part of Jerusalem. The measure was adopted in Paris by a vote of 22 to 10, with 23 abstentions.
AJC and the World Jewish Congress joined Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu in praising several UNESCO member states for voting against the organization's latest resolution attacking Israel. At an Independence Day reception for the diplomatic corps, Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “The number of countries who support this absurd UNESCO resolution is getting smaller.”
JCRC Co-Chair Richard Samet remarked, “As I have said before, only open dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians will lead to a sustainable peace, so it is unfortunate certain nations continue to use the UN as a platform from which to issue biased, one-dimensional, and false pronouncements that only hinder the peace process. Our position remains one of ardent support for Israel as the democratic, strong and peaceful nation-state; the homeland of the Jewish people, and Jerusalem as its capital.”
World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said, “This cynical move must be recognized for what it is: a distorted, dangerous and illegitimate revision of history, which serves only as bait for adversaries of Israel seeking to strip the Jewish people’s right to self-determination and deny its historic and religious link to Jerusalem. I urge the international community to condemn this decision in the harshest manner possible, and do everything in its power to rectify this error.”
AJC CEO David Harris commented, “Indeed, the Arab sponsors could not even muster a majority of nations voting, which they must regard as a setback from their usual expectation of an 'automatic majority.’ … It's a tragedy that the Palestinian Authority and several Arab countries have sought for a long time to exploit this body to castigate Israel and deny self-evident historical truths in the process.” Last week, Harris met in Rome with Italy's foreign minister, part of AJC's outreach to UNESCO members in advance of the vote.