PA last-ditch effort at UNESCO fails

PA tries to change results of vote on anti-Israel resolution, without success.

Arutz Sheva North America Staff,

UNESCO headquarters in Paris
UNESCO headquarters in Paris

The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Friday made a last-ditch effort to change the results of the vote on the anti-Israel resolution at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The resolution, adopted earlier this week, says that Israel has no sovereign authority over its capital, Jerusalem. Despite the fact that the resolution was adopted, it was a relatively favorable outcome for Israel, as only 22 member countries voted in favor, while 10 opposed, 23 abstained, and three were absent from voting.

On Friday, however, the PA representative at UNESCO claimed that there were at least two countries that changed their minds about voting against the resolution and tried to reopen the discussion on the resolution as the executive board met to ratify it.

Upon realizing that he will be unsuccessful in his attempts, the PA envoy asked for the right to speak at the UNESCO gathering and claimed that he did not understand why there were even any objections to the resolution.

As he spoke, the diplomat who headed the meeting decided that the incitement uttered by the PA envoy was inappropriate, and ordered him to conclude his remarks earlier than planned.

Israel's ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama Hacohen, told Arutz Sheva that the Palestinians understood that they were likely to fail.

"We are pleased that the Arab states gave up on the idea of ​​reopening the vote on Jerusalem and hope that they will abandon the issue altogether, in preparation for the annual meeting of the World Heritage Committee in two months in Krakow, Poland," he said.

"In view of the distress that the Arab countries encountered, the Palestinian representative today asked to speak out and complained about the criticism of many countries that the proposals on Jerusalem were political proposals that had no place in UNESCO, while admitting that the proposals were indeed political. He also suggested that countries whose representatives here do not know how to deal with such proposals should send other representatives. There is no doubt that his words will serve us in future rounds, should they be forced upon us," added Shama Hacohen.

"The end result was the best ever for Israel regarding Jerusalem. At the end of the day, when you exclude Islamic countries, with the majority of whom we have no relations and which have no ability to vote otherwise, the proposal won the support of only six countries while ten opposed it, including the entire leadership of the free world," the ambassador concluded.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)