The government on Monday informed UNESCO, the United Nations organization responsible for educational, scientific, and cultural matters, that a delegation of the organization that planned to visit Jerusalem was not welcome. The UNESCO group will not be given visas to enter the country, the government said.
The UNESCO group had planned to come to Jerusalem to catalog religious and cultural heritage sites. Sources in the Foreign Ministry said that given UNESCO's poor record regarding Israel, there was no reason for the UN group to be given another opportunity to spread lies about Israel. “Let them first remove the anti-Israel resolutions they passed, and in return Israel will admit the delegation,” the source was quoted as saying by Israel Radio.
The source said that UNESCO had planned to violate an agreement it had made with the government. The UN group claimed it wanted to visit Jerusalem to catalog the sites, and that the trip was to be professional in nature – and that it would not have a political character. On that basis, the government agreed to allow the group into Israel.
But in reality, the source said, UNESCO officials had set up several meetings with Arab activists, Palestinian Authority figures, and terrorists, giving the visit a political, not professional, character. As such, UNESCO lied, the source said, violating the agreement with Israel – and thus the entire visit would be cancelled.