Before anyone even thought of “fake news”, UNESCO was inventing and spreading “fake history”. The consequences are now hitting home, as the US and Israel leave the organization.
The United States and Israel have decided to leave the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), an organization that, ironically, has been the exact opposite of ‘educational, scientific and cultural’. Instead, it has invented outrageous historical lies and pursued nefarious agendas that displayed the shameless, yet rather impressive, ability of international diplomats to dissemble and lie through their teeth.
The viciousness of the anti-Israeli resolutions from UNESCO had been on the rise for a few years prior to the US and Israeli decisions to turn their backs on the organization.
In October 2015, UNESCO 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”. It also decided that the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem were ‘Muslim sites’.
Already in 2010, UNESCO had insanely 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. At the time, only the U.S. voted against this absurd decision.
One year later, in October 2016, UNESCO declared the Temple Mount – site of the two biblical temples – ‘a Muslim holy site of worship’ and mentioned it only by its Muslim names, the “Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif”. In the bizarro world of the UN, the holiest site to Jews had no connection to Judaism.
Long before anyone had even thought of coining the term ‘fake news’, the UN had become the unbeatable expert of faking history.
Only six months later, and coinciding with Israel’s Independence Day, UNESCO reached a new low, passing a resolution denying Israel any rights whatsoever – legal or historical – to any part of Jerusalem with Israel being referred to throughout the resolution as ‘the Occupying Power’. According to the UN, then, Israel is apparently just another Muslim country.
UNESCO regrets that the US has decided to leave the travesty of UNESCO behind. “At the time when conflicts continue to tear apart societies across the world, it is deeply regrettable for the United States to withdraw from the United Nations agency promoting education for peace and protecting culture under attack,” said UNESCO’s director general, Irina Bokova.
She appeared oblivious of the utter irony of her statement: Few ‘educational’ international organizations have contributed more to tearing apart societies by constantly throwing matches on a smoldering fire than UNESCO has done in the Middle East for the past forty years.
One would hope that the US exit might signal the beginning of the end of the UN as a whole, as the UN would become, if possible, even more useless without the financial backing of the US. As unlikely as that scenario sounds at this time, it may not be entirely unrealistic. The US has previously indicated that it might leave the UN Human Rights Council, an equally whacky UN outfit, and as Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley said in March, ‘the beauty of this administration is, all bets are off’.
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 has enveloped the UN so completely and it has contributed immeasurably towards making Jew hatred socially acceptable and even trendy in so many circles, especially academic and diplomatic ones.
It has already been more than 15 years since then French ambassador to the UK, Daniel Bernard, said, “All the current troubles in the world are because of that shitty little country Israel”.
How fitting, then, that France’s candidate, French former culture minister, Audrey Azoulay, who is Jewish, has taken over the post of director of UNESCO. Azoulay will be able to serve UNESCO as a highly convenient Jewish fig leaf in the hands of the UN organization, which will now be able to reject all claims of antisemitism by pointing to its very own court Jew. The UN has used this trick with great success in the past, when it appointed Jews such as Richard Goldstone – who authored the UN Goldstone report that equated democratic Israel with genocidal Hamas – and Richard Falk, a notorious Jewish anti-Semite who equated Israel with Nazi Germany.
For some reason, the UN never runs out of Jews willing to do the dirty business of the UN and Azoulay is only the latest to join their ranks.
The farce will continue, but from now on, neither the US nor Israel will lend it any legitimacy by participating in it.
Judith Bergman is a columnist and political analyst
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