Netanyahu recalls UNESCO ambassador

Prime Minister Netanyahu recalled Israel's ambassador to UNESCO, says it is time to reassess Israel's relationship with the organization.

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Gary Willig,

Carmel Shama-Cohen throws UNESCO rsolution into 'dustbin of history', today
Carmel Shama-Cohen throws UNESCO rsolution into 'dustbin of history', today
צילום: ארז ליכטפלד, משלחת ישראל לאונסק"ו

Following the second UNESCO vote to deny the connection between the Jewish people and their holiest sites in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made the decision to recall Israel's ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-Hacohen.

This was an unprecedented move that has never been taken against any other UN body before.

Netanyahu confirmed the move during an event at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya.

"The theater of the absurd continues, and I have decided to summon to Israel for consultations our ambassador to UNESCO. We will decide what do, what our next steps vis-à-vis the organization will be.”

"What we have to understand in the end -and this will take time- is that this absurdity harms not only the historical truth, but also harms the truth of the present. The credibility of the United Nations will end while Israel continues to grow and flourish." Netanyahu added.

Shama-Hacohen said that he had already been informed of Netanyahu's decision before the official announcement. “This is a necessary step. Clearly we need to rethink and reevaluate our relations with UNESCO given the persistent persecution of Israel and the Jewish people.”

During Wednesday's vote ten nations voted for the anti-Israel resolution while two nations voted against and eight nations abstained.

Israel's diplomatic outreach was not completely unsuccessful, however. Israel was able to convince Croatia and Tanzania to call for a secret ballot, to the consternation of the Arab nations which voted.

Shama-Hacohen said that while they won the vote, the Palestinian Authority and Arab nations did not reach their full objectives. "The Palestinians and the Arab countries were left at the end of the day without the consensus that they were sure was in their pocket."

After the vote was taken Shama-Hacohen symbolically lifted a black dustbin with the word 'history' written on it and placed a copy of the resolution in the dustbin.

“This is yet another absurd resolution against the State of Israel, the Jewish people and historical truth." he said, comparing the resolution to the infamous UN resolution declaring Zionism as racism in 1975, which Israel's ambassador to the UN at the time, Chaim Herzog, famously tore up.

Shama Hacohen added that he did not intend to repeat Herzog's actions. “I have no intention of doing this today— not because of your dignity, or the dignity of this organization, but because it is not even worthy of the energy needed for tearing it apart."