Israel Suspends Cooperation with UNESCO

Israel has frozen co-operation with the UN’s cultural agency, UNESCO, accusing it of denying Judaism’s connections to the religion’s holiest sites.

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett said a Unesco draft decision concerning Jerusalem denies history and encourages terror.

He said UNSECO is ignoring thousands of years of Jewish ties to Jerusalem and aiding Islamist terror.


It comes after the UNESCO approved a text which repeatedly used only the Islamic name for a hilltop complex which is also the holiest site in Judaism. The site is known to Jews as the Temple Mount and Haram al-Sharif to Muslims.

UNESCO in a 24-6 vote, gave preliminary approval to a resolution that denies Jewish ties to its most holy religious sites: the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

Twenty-six nations abstained from the vote and two were absent.

The six countries that voted in support of Israel were the United States, Great Britain, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Germany and Estonia.

Those who supported the motion included Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chad, China, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan and Vietnam.

Nations that abstained from the vote were: Albania, Argentina, Cameroon, Cote de’Ivoire, El Salvador, Spain, France, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Haiti, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Nepal, Uganda, Paraguay, South Korea, St. Kits and Nevis, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Togo, Trinidad and Ukraine.

Absent countries included Serbia and Turkmenistan.