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Nikki Haley
Photo: AFP
US UN Envoy Haley steps in to defeat UNESCO Hebron resolution
As UNESCO discussions get underway on whether to designate Hebron—and with it the Cave of the Patriarchs—as a World Heritage Site In Danger, Nikki Haley steps in by writing a letter to the body's director-general urging her to oppose the resolution; says UNESCO's efforts ‘should not be wasted on this sort of symbolic action.'
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has sent a letter to the Director-General of the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO) urging her to oppose a resolution to be voted on by the body next week which would recognize Hebron's Old City—and with it the Cave of the Patriarchs—as a Palestinian World Heritage Site In Danger.

 

 

The letter was also addressed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

 

UNESCO’s meetings and deliberations on the matter began on July 2 and will continue to run until July 12 during which Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem will also be the subject of discussions.

 

Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

 

“The Tomb of the Patriarchs, which is sacred to all three faiths, is under no immediate threat,” Haley stated. “Such a designation risks undermining the seriousness such an assessment by UNESCO should have.”

 

Haley pointed other “precarious” historic sites in places such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, Iraq and Syria which she said were genuinely facing a real and imminent prospect of destruction.

 

“They urgently demand UNESCO’s full and immediate attention, which should not be wasted on this sort of symbolic action,” Haley added laconically.

 

Cave of the Patriarchs (Photo: Gil Yohanan) (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Cave of the Patriarchs (Photo: Gil Yohanan)

 

Reminding UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova that the US was engaged in efforts to restart the dormant peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, Haley said that the this initiative is “particularly ill-timed and unfortunate,” before expressing her hope that she hoped she would “join the United States in opposing this measure.”

 

On Friday, MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union) spoke at an UNESCO conference in Paris about the matter, saying that the Palestinians take advantage of the organization to pass anti-Israeli resolutions.

 

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