European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor expressed disappointment and concern after the General Assembly of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, voted to grant the Palestinians full membership of the organization.
Along with the usual votes of support from the Arab, Muslim and developing world for Palestinian initiatives in United Nations institutions were France, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg and Austria.
Some European nations like Holland, Germany, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Lithuania voted against Palestinian membership, while many nations including the United Kingdom and Italy abstained.
“It is certainly worrying and of great concern that so many nations in Europe voted for a Palestinian membership,” Kantor said.
“This vote is first and foremost a disaster for UNESCO which will accept a member whose educational, cultural and religious institutions promote hate and incitement to violence against Israel and the Jewish People,” Kantor continued.
“UNESCO has ostensibly given a free reign for the worst forms of anti-Semitism under the guise of education and culture, two of the pillars which are supposed to unite the nations of the world towards peace.”
“Surely the mandate of UNESCO requires meeting guidelines or preconditions that would require the Palestinians to dismantle their culture of hate before being considered for acceptance.”
The European Jewish Congress also expressed concern that the Palestinians will use UNESCO to further erase any Jewish connection to holy sites in Israel and the West Bank.
“Only recently we were told by UNESCO that ancient sites like Rachel’s Tomb and the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron are in fact mosques, so now the Palestinians are full members I am certain we can expect a fully-fledged agenda to Arabize or Palestinianize Jewish history, culture and the connection to the Land of Israel,” Kantor said.
“If we are not careful, UNESCO will join the UN Human Rights Council as an institution whose agenda has been hijacked in the political, legal and cultural war on Israel and the Jewish People,” the EJC leader added.