American Jewish Congress Statement on UNESCO World Heritage Committee Vote

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 3:41pm

October 26, 2016



NEW YORK – Upon hearing of the adoption of a resolution by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee that denies Jewish and Christian ties to Jerusalem, American Jewish Congress President Jack Rosen issued the following statement:

“We are deeply disappointed with the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for adopting, today, a racist resolution that attacks Jews’ and Christians’ historical connection to Jerusalem, as this also runs counter to American values.

“Over the past month, the American Jewish Congress has been engaged in meetings and discussions with senior officials from the United States and leaders around the world, to educate and raise awareness of the dangerous consequences from these resolutions. Our advocacy efforts included: meeting with UN ambassadors, heads of state, and asking members of the U.S. Congress to individually let ambassadors of the UNESCO voting countries know that this is unacceptable. American support against today’s resolution came from letters and statements issued by members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, and by a statement issued last night by presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton:

'It is disappointing and wrong to see that UNESCO's World Heritage Committee is considering a resolution on Jerusalem that fails to recognize and respect the deep and historic ties of the Jewish people to Jerusalem and its holy sites. Tomorrow's planned vote follows an outrageous UNESCO vote last week on a similar resolution. I have always stood with Israel to reject these biased actions at the United Nations, and I always will.'

“We extend our deepest appreciation to the member countries of the World Heritage Committee that either abstained or opposed the resolution. As we look to the leadership network built in our annual International Mayors Conference program, we wish to send a special thank you to: Argentine President Mauricio Macri for Argentina abstaining on the first vote that occurred in the UNESCO Executive Committee and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi for his recent statement and commitment. We also thank Mexico and Brazil for taking a stand against the matter.

“The American Jewish Congress will continue to monitor the situation, and work towards the reversal of this one-sided decision, including efforts with whoever will become the next president of the United States. Further, we remain deeply committed to our mission of building ties with leaders early on, so we can prepare for future stunts like these at the United Nations.”