“Former Israeli heritage issues now become the responsibility of accredited Jewish organizations and the defence of Judaism itself.” 

A Report from Dr. Shimon Samuels, Wiesenthal Centre Permanent Observer to UNESCO

Paris, 9 October 2018

Tomorrow morning Paris time, a senior UNESCO official will present to the 205th Executive Board of 59 voting States and Observers the two notorious anti-Israel resolutions that, normally, pass with an assured majority vote.

Item 28: Occupied Palestine and the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls
Item 29: Education and Cultural Institutions in the Occupied Arab Territories and Occupied Syrian Golan.

The official will declare that the stakeholders, Israel, Jordan and “Palestine,” have accepted the resolutions by consensus and, consequently, there will be no ballot... the gavel will come down and end of story... or not quite.

According to a UNESCO source, there was indeed some negotiation before consensus. A note chiding Israel for, allegedly, damaging a cultural centre in the Gaza confrontation was apparently rejected by Jerusalem. The Palestinians wanted no mention of the World Heritage Committee consensus in Bahrain.

However, all was resolved by the same stratagem invoked by the then new Director-General at her first twice-a-year Executive Board in April and, as above in Bahrain in July.

The method was to enclose all the charges against Israel under a separate “Annex” - in fact still there, but not there! This recalls the nonsense poem for children: “Last night I saw upon the stair, A little man who wasn't there... He wasn't there again today; Oh, how I wish he'd go away!”

The debate pro or con “Isrexit” is now irrelevant, as the die has been cast.

Director-General Azoulay deserves an A+ for trying and her Israel-”Palestine” efforts can certainly impact as a depoliticization precedent for other conflicts among UNESCO member states.

What will now happen with Israel-”Palestine” in the vacuum left by Israel’s departure? Arab and so-called non-aligned states may stage public festivities. But after the party is over, comes the realization that the US and Israel empty seats have removed the target.

This can only increase the existing Palestine fatigue and exacerbate splits within the regional blocs in the search for other victims.

For Israel, continuing hostile resolutions in its absence will have the same non-binding effect as those emanating from the Arab League or the Organization of the Islamic Conference. A silent yawn.

For the accredited Jewish organizations, however, we will have a greater responsibility as former Israeli heritage issues (Temple Mount, Cave of the Patriarchs, Western Wall, etc...) now become a global Jewish concern, the very defence of Judaism itself.