The resolution passed in a vote that took place on Israel’s Independence Day today, and was approved by a smaller majority than in the past, with 20 countries voting in favour, 22 abstaining, and 10 opposing.
CFI Parliamentary Chairman Rt. Hon. Sir Eric Pickles MP, Honorary President Lord Polak CBE, and Executive Director James Gurd praised the UK’s vote against the motion: “The UK’s principled vote against UNESCO’s latest shameful motion demonstrates the Conservative Government’s zero-tolerance approach to the UN’s anti-Israel bias. Theresa May has shown a firm commitment to rejecting UNESCO’s attempt to rewrite the Jewish connection to Jerusalem”.
The UK, US, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Greece, Paraguay, Ukraine, and Togo all voted against the motion.
The 22 countries to vote in favour of the resolution included Russia, China, Brazil, Sweden, South Africa, Iran, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nigeria, Senegal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Chad and seven Arab countries.
The UK’s vote against the resolution, follows an unprecedented condemnation by the UK Government in March 2017 of the UN Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) bias against Israel.
In March, the UK announced that it is putting the UN body “on notice” and will vote against every motion on the conflict unless the body ends its “disproportion and bias” against the Jewish State.
Shortly after, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson affirmed his support for the Government’s stance, condemning the UNHRC’s “absolutely preposterous” motion against Israel on the ‘occupation of Syria’s Golan’.
The UN’s new General-Secretary Antonio Gutterres vowed last month to tackle anti-Israel bias within the organisation, and said that “the State of Israel needs to be treated as any other state”.
The resolution on “Occuptied Palestine” was submitted to UNESCO’s Executive Board by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan. It indicates that Israel has no legal or historical rights anywhere in Jerusalem.
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, condemned the latest motion in a statement: “This distorted decision and the attempts to undermine the connection between Israel and Jerusalem will not change the fact that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people”.
Similar motions on Jerusalem were approved by UNESCO last year, leading to an international outcry.
The UN and its many associated bodies have a long history of singling out Israel more than any other country in the world. In 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted 20 resolutions singling out Israel for critcism, and only three resolutions on the rest of the world combined.
The UNHRC has issued a total of 135 resolutions against specific countries in its history, 68 of which have targeted Israel. By comparison, Syria, which has been in turmoil since the civil war began in 2011, has only been subject to 19 resolutions.