Czech President Milos Zeman
Czech President Milos ZemanKobi Gideon, GPO

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem's reunification, The Czech parliament's lower chamber, the Czech Chamber of Deputies, has called on its government to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to stop paying membership fees to UNESCO until the organization stops its anti-Israel bias. In a recent resolution the UN organization denied the Jewish connection to Jerusalem, flying in the face of historical evidence and the Bible.

The president of the Czech republic, Milos Zeman, also sent a special message to participants at an event hosted by the Israeli embassy in honor of Jerusalem Day at the Prague Castle, the official residence of the Czech president.

Zeman wrote" Let me greet you all on the occasion of this gathering that takes place on the eve of the Day of Jerusalem,You have gathered in this magnificent cathedral, the spiritual center of our country so steadfastly connected with our statehood.”

Zeman added that this was highly symbolic since “It was the Czechoslovak Republic that gave the helping hand to Israel in the difficult times. And in exchange, Israel with its vitality and pride encourages us in Europe where we face the evil of terrorism.” Czechoslovakia was one of the only countries to help Israel obtain weaponry during its War of Independence.

Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-Hacohen, welcomed the parliamentary resolution against UNESCO as “another blessed decision and another sane voice against the stream of delusional resolutions on the matter of Jerusalem.” Shama added that “this is indeed a nice present from Prague to the people of Israel on Jerusalem Day.”

The UNESCO vote, which coincided with Israel’s Independence Day, passed with 22 countries in favor, 23 abstentions, 10 opposed, and the representatives of three countries absent.

The Czech Chamber of Deputies further endorsed a two-state solution and called for direct Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations without preconditions. It also opposed decisions and resolutions by international organizations such as the European Union that “distort historical facts” and contain the “spirit of anti-Israel bigotry.”