Brazil Backtracks on Support for UNESCO Measure Denying Jewish Ties to Holy Sites
JNS.org – Brazil has become the second country to admit it made a mistake by voting in favor of the recent United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) resolution that denies Jewish ties to the Western Wall and Temple Mount holy sites.
The Brazilian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the country tried to “soften the terms of the original proposal” that was “partial and unbalanced,” but after failing in that effort, voted in favor of the resolution.
“However, the fact that the decision does not make express reference to the historical ties of the Jewish people to Jerusalem, particularly to the Western Wall, the holiest shrine of Judaism, is an error, which makes the text partial and unbalanced,” the Foreign Ministry said.
France has also said that its initial vote in favor of the UNESCO measure was mistaken.
“Brazil reiterates its full recognition of these bonds and its position in favor of the free access of believers of the three religions, Christianism, Islamism, and Judaism, to the holy sites of the Old City of Jerusalem, as well as its support for the existing agreements between Israel and Jordan on the administration of the city,” said the Brazilian statement.
Brazil pledged to “review its vote if the deficiencies pointed out in the decision are not corrected in future assessment of the subject by UNESCO.”
Although Brazil-Israel relations have been somewhat tense following Brazil’s refusal to accept Israel’s nomination of former Israeli settlement movement leader Dani Dayan as the Jewish state’s envoy to Brazil, the country recently voted in a new president, Michel Temer, who is thought to be more friendly toward Israel than his predecessor Dilma Rousseff.