Israel slams latest UNESCO vote as 'absurd, pathetic and unnecessary'
Foreign Ministry protests vote dubbing Israel an 'occupying power' in Jerusalem's Old City and calling on it to stop excavations and other works there; 'No faux "heritage committee" can sever the bonds between our people and Jerusalem,' UN Ambassador Danon says.
Israel protested on Wednesday a UNESCO vote that called it an "occupying power" in Jerusalem's Old City, which includes sites sacred to the Jews, Christians and Muslims.
Participants in a UNESCO World Heritage Committee's session in Krakow, Poland, called on Israeli authorities to stop excavations and other works in the Old City, saying they are illegal.
"This is another absurd and irrelevant UNESCO decision, which serves only the enemies of history and truth," Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. "The decision is sad, unnecessary and pathetic."
The Foreign Ministry went on to assert that "Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people, and no UNESCO resolution will change this reality," emphasizing the resolution did not even achieve a majority of the votes.
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon also condemned the vote's wording, calling it "disgraceful."
"No faux 'heritage committee' can sever the bonds between our people and Jerusalem," Danon said.
The wording of the proposal submitted to the UN Education, Science and Culture Organization by three Arab states, which was formulated together with the Palestinians, were originally much harsher. However, pressure exerted by Israel forced the hostile proposal to be watered down.
Ten states supported the proposal: Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Lebanon, Tunisia, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Turkey, Vietnam, Zimbabwe and Cuba. Three voted against the proposal: The Philippines, Jamaica and Burkina Faso. Another eight countries abstained: Angola, Croatia, Finland, Peru, Poland, Portugal, South Korea and Tanzania.