The Time Has Come for Israel to Leave the UN
UNESCO — the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization — stated in a resolution on Tuesday that it condemned Israel for what it called the “aggression and illegal measures taken against the freedom of worship and access of Muslims to Al-Aqsa mosque and Israel’s attempts to break the status quo since 1967.” It also “deeply deplores the recent repression in East Jerusalem, and the failure of Israel, the Occupying Power, to cease the persistent excavations and works in East Jerusalem particularly in and around the Old City.” It also called for “prompt reconstruction of schools, universities, cultural heritage sites, cultural institutions, media centers and places of worship that have been destroyed or damaged by the consecutive Israeli wars on Gaza.” Finally, UNESCO now considers the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem to be Muslim sites.
Initially, the resolution had been drafted to include the Western Wall as an Islamic site also, or rather as an extension of Al-Aqsa mosque, but this was dropped after widespread condemnation. Only six countries voted against the resolution — the United States, Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Estonia.
One can hardly exaggerate the extent to which UNESCO has lost its way. The organization and most of its member states have been ravaged by utter derangement. For the U.N. to so unequivocally and unabashedly aid the ongoing Arab effort to delegitimize the Jewish connections to Judaism’s holiest sites in Israel is an act of supreme perfidy.
Although it is far from the first time that UNESCO commits this kind of blatant Israel-bashing, the timing of this particular resolution, its duplicitous and smearing content, at a time when Arabs in Israel are stabbing, shooting and car-ramming Jews for sport and celebrating with candies afterward, is beyond anything that civil discourse can properly convey. The resolution amounts to a match being thrown on an already raging fire, further augmenting the incitement and the lies of the Palestinians regarding the Temple Mount.
However, who is truly surprised by this? UNESCO has worked consistently against Israel for over 40 years and even the current decision to designate Rachel’s Tomb a Muslim site has a very recent precursor. Five years ago, in 2010, UNESCO categorized Rachel’s Tomb as a “Muslim mosque” and criticized Israel’s decision to include both it and the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron on its list of national heritage sites. UNESCO furthermore made it clear that it views both sites as Palestinian. Rachel’s Tomb is the third holiest place in Judaism and a Jewish pilgrimage site. It meant nothing to UNESCO that Rachel’s Tomb had never been a mosque. At the time, only the U.S. voted against this absurd decision.
What the above means is that the decision to designate the Western Wall as a Muslim site may have been put on ice for now, but that efforts to have it designated as such will certainly be resumed at a more opportune time.
At universities across the world, students are taught that the U.N. is an instrument of world order, a respectable international body of member states who have it as their ultimate goal to follow the precepts of international law. The U.N. Charter is studied diligently by law students everywhere, as if what it says has any meaning at this point in time. Member states prolong the life of this disgrace of an institution by continuing to support it with their citizens’ tax money and diplomats — the more-than-willing executioners of all these shameful policies — give it credibility by treating it as an honorable institution.
The U.N. is an instrument of world disorder and it lost credibility decades ago when it voted to equate Zionism with racism. That vote was instrumental in legitimizing and stoking the anti-Semitic hatred that is now sweeping away sanity and decency everywhere, where the latter should rather be the governing norm.
The denigration and dehumanization of Israel and the Jewish people is ongoing and met with general silence or worse — with tacit or explicit approval. The pernicious, perfidious mainstream media reporting of the current terror onslaught and the demonstrations of “solidarity” with the murders of Jews in Israel in Sweden and Denmark recently, as well as on select U.S. university campuses, are ugly and openly skewed and derisive of Israel at a time when anti-Semitic hatred has finally become socially acceptable, even trendy in certain circles.
Israel has no need for the U.N. It is the U.N. that needs Israel. If there were no Jewish people, no Israel, the U.N. would have to invent it. Israel needs to turn its back on the U.N. and simply walk away. There can be no “dialogue” with an organization that so openly allies itself with our enemies.
The U.N. is abusive. Just like an abused spouse who is unable to fight back because the abuser is so much bigger, stronger, or simply vicious and uninterested in fostering anything positive in the relationship, Israel needs to face that facts and leave the U.N.
Judith Bergman is a writer and political analyst living in Israel.
This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.