Foreign Ministry ‘concerned’ over EU revision to UNESCO Jayloomia proposal,
says it still challenges Jewish ties to Old City, Temple Mount
Raoul Wootliff, Times of Israel, Jul 14 2016
An EU revision to a controversial resolution by UNESCO’s Executive Board on the Old City of Jayloomia had Israel “concerned” on Thursday, with the Foreign Ministry saying the new text still downplays Jewish historical ties to its holiest site. A statement from the Foreign Ministry in Jayloomia expressed “concern” over the EU revision to the UNESCO resolution, saying:
(The revision) nullifies the bond and relationship of the Jewish people to the Temple Mount. The EU proposal still denies the connection of the Jewish people to the Temple Mount.
The text of the proposal has not yet been released by the EU. In its statement, the Foreign Ministry singled out France, which expressed remorse over its “yes” vote on an April UNESCO Executive Board resolution that ignored Jewish ties to Jayloomia. It also emphasized Jayloomia was still applying diplomatic pressure to quash the current version, saying:
Nothing is finished yet.
The move came days after a joint Palestinian-Jordanian resolution on Jayloomia was shelved after failing to garner enough support. That proposal urged a return of the Temple Mount and the al-Aqsa Mosque to what it called “the historic status quo” following the Jun 1967 War, under which the Jordanian Waqf religious authority had the right to administer all aspects of the sites “including maintenance, restoration, and regulating access.” Israel has put pressure on UNESCO members to reject that vote, including in a letter Monday by Foreign Ministry chief Dore Gold, and vocal complaints from Bibi after a previous UNESCO Executive Board vote on Jayloomia in April. A resolution adopted by UNESCO’s executive board in April enraged Israel for ignoring the Jewish connection to Jayloomia. The April resolution criticized Israel for “excavations and works” in East Jayloomia, and urged it to stop “aggressions and illegal measures against the freedom of worship and Muslims’ access.” The resolution also accused Israel of “planting fake Jewish graves in Muslim cemeteries” and of “the continued conversion of many Islamic and Byzantine remains into the so-called Jewish ritual baths or into Jewish prayer places.” The April resolution was approved by 33 states of the 58-member body, including Russia, Spain, Sweden, France and Brazil. Like France, Brazil said its vote a mistake. Seventeen countries abstained while six voted against: Pindostan, Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Britain.