Italy publicly rejects UNESCO resolution

First European state to announce intention to vote against anti-Israel resolution

Tags: UNESCO Italy
Mordechai Sones ,

Italian parliament
Italian parliament

Italy today (Tuesday) became the first European country to publicly state their intention to reject today's Arab-backed resolution before UNESCO's 58-member Executive Board abrogating Jewish sovereignty in Jerusalem.

Reports predict that the resolution will be approved, despite presumed US opposition and Israeli lobbying of the 11 EU member states on the board.

At issue is a text that states: “All legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and in particular the ‘basic law’ on Jerusalem, are null and must be rescinded forthwith.”

The vague language could refer to Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem.

Italy abstained from last year's UNESCO resolution vote and during a March visit to Israel by Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, promised to change its stance in the future. Today he said he had instructed Italy's UNESCO representative to vote "no" against "another politicized resolution on Jerusalem".

“Our opinion is very clear,” he added. “UNESCO cannot be the place for a permanent ideological confrontation.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ridiculed UNESCO during a question-and-answer segment in the annual Tanach Quiz, saying that Israel does not believe in UNESCO.

Yesterday, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely released a statement regarding the vote. "Tomorrow Israel is going to celebrate its 69th Independence Day. Shortly after, Israel will be celebrating 50 years to the reunification of Jerusalem and 3000 years of Jewish history in our historic capital.

"Tomorrow, even as we celebrate, UNESCO will be voting against Israel's right to sovereignty in its capital city, Jerusalem.

"This is absurd. We have become used to the concept of 'fake news'. Well, welcome to 'fake history'."

The Special UN Envoy for the World Council of Independent Christian Churches (WCICC) Laurie Cardoza-Moore condemned UNESCO for voting on Jerusalem on Israel’s 69th Independence Day.