Czech parliament condemns UNESCO

The Czech parliament voted overwhelmingly to condemn UNESCO for denying the links betwen Jerusalem and the Jewish and Christian religions.

Gary Willig,

Western Wall in Jerusalem
Western Wall in Jerusalem
צילום: מאיר סלע

The Czech parliament adopted a resolution Wednesday evening condemning the decision by the Executive Board of UNESCO to deny any connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem.

The Czech parliament also condemned UNESCO's decision for denying the link between Christianity and its holy places in Jerusalem.

"The Parliament condemns the decision of UNESCO which runs contrary to the fundamental values of religion and and is inconsistent with the struggle against anti-Semitism, and calls on the government to instruct its representatives in various other organizations to oppose similar resolutions." the parliament said in a statement issued after 119 MPs voted in favor of the resolution to condemn UNESCO. Only four MPs opposed the resolution, all from the Communist party.

Israel's ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-Hacohen, said that "The resolution passed by the parliament of the Czech Republic is heartwarming, and based on my sources this may be the first European condemnation of this resolution of the Arab countries and the Palestinians, but it won't be the last."

"The Czech Republic does not work for Israeli hasbara (publicity propaganda) ." Shama-Hacohen added. "It simply sees this resolution as an offensive attempt to erase history."

"The issue of Jerusalem at UNESCO has become less about the Israel-Palestinian-Arab conflict and more about Judaism and Christianity (whose adherents) are forced against their will to deal with a distorted version of Islam which refuses to respect other religions.

"We respect that Islam has holy sites in Jerusalem, including on the Temple Mount, which is the holiest site in our religion." Shama-Hacohen said. "Every resolution similar to this one (the Czech resolution) is a blessing. The Arab countries and the Palestinians are using this dangerous idea which should be kept far away from any regional conflict. Religion should be used to unite people, not to divide and conquer."