Monday, May 20, 2013


Two weeks ago, I expressed reservations over Israel's government's decision to agree to having UNESCO involved in Jerusalem and specifically the Temple Mount.

And now:

On Monday 20th May, Hebrew-language sources reported that Israel decided to cancel a planned visit by a delegation from UNESCO, the United Nation's cultural organization, to the occupied Jerusalem.  Sources from the Israel's Foreign Ministry said that the decision came on claim that the Palestinians had "politicized" the delegation, who is planned to come to Jerusalem to inspect the crimes committed by the Israeli occupation in occupied Jerusalem and on its holy sites.

From Palestine News Network

The Arab-language version:

the Israeli occupation forces today prevented a delegation from "UNESCO" of the United Nations from entering the occupied city of Jerusalem to prove changes in the sightseeing of ancient Palestine, which is incumbent on the international community to work to ensure the protection of Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem.The UNESCO has sent a delegation to visit the city of Jerusalem to make sure there'll be no change Islamic landmarks in the city, and claimed that the Israeli occupation forces prevented the delegation came under the pretext that the Palestinian side contradicted promise not to "politicize" the visit and gave her a picture as if they form an international investigation committee.The center of the "protection" of human rights, that the actions of the occupation forces to prevent the mission from visiting Al-Aqsa Mosque as an attempt to hide their activities Judaization of the holy city, and this constitutes an obstacle important and essential against the requirements of justice advocated by human rights principles and norms of international law relevant.

Are we saved?

Haaretz thinks so:

Israel nixes UNESCO Jerusalem visit, alleging Palestinians tried to make it political
Foreign Ministry rescinded its offer to let a team from the UN cultural agency inspect historical sites in the Old City of Jerusalem, saying the Palestinians violated a prior agreement that the visit be apolitical.

JPost confirms:

Israel nixes UNESCO J'lem delegation at last minute 

Israel on Monday called off a planned visit by a delegation from UNESCO, the United Nation’s cultural organization, to inspect preservation work in Jerusalem’s Old City, saying that the Palestinians had "politicized" the delegation.

"The delegation as a delegation has been postponed," a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

"The Palestinians violated all the agreements we had with UNESCO: that this was to be a purely professional, not a political visit," he said.  The official said the Palestinians asked to introduce a "slew" of political elements into the visit, with PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki characterizing it as a fact-finding commission to investigate Israeli steps in Jerusalem.

The spokesman said that contrary to an agreement brokered in April at UNESCO's headquarters in Paris, the PA was now insisting on taking the delegation to the Temple Mount, and meeting with Palestinian political  personalities, not just "engineers, architects and professional people".

"We have said this was unacceptable" the spokesman said. "Hopefully the delegation is postponed, and not cancelled."

...The Foreign Ministry was to host the delegation, a ministry official said, since Israel is “the responsible party for maintaining and preserving” the site.


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