(Sven Hoppe/dpa via AP)
Netanyahu at Munich Security Conference

Until UNESCO ends its hostility against the Jewish state, “Israel will fight anti-Semitism at UNESCO and everywhere else,” Netanyahu stated.

By: United with Israel Staff

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined an invitation from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to participate in a conference on anti-Semitism at the United Nations this week, saying that if the organization if wants to fight anti-Semitism “it must stop practicing anti-Semitism.”

“While I commend all efforts to combat anti-Semitism, I have decided not to participate in this week’s UNESCO conference on anti-Semitism due to the organization’s persistent and egregious bias against Israel,” Netanyahu stated Wednesday.

Israel has long complained of anti-Israel bias within UNESCO, where Israel and its allies are far outnumbered by Arab countries and their supporters. Since 2009, UNESCO has passed 71 resolutions condemning Israel and only two resolutions against all other countries combined.

“This is simply outrageous,” Netanyahu said of the numbers.

UNESCO’s ‘Mark of Shame’

“The mark of anti-Semitism was once singling out the Jewish people for slander and condemnation. The mark of anti-Semitism today is singling out the Jewish state for slander and condemnation,” Netanyahu explained. “If UNESCO wants to remove this mark of shame, it must do more than host a conference on anti-Semitism. It must stop practicing anti-Semitism.”

UNESCO, essentially led by the Arab bloc, has been relentlessly hostile towards Israel. In 2017, it passed a motion denying the Jewish historical and religious ties to Jerusalem on Israel’s Independence Day. Later on, it passed a similar resolution denying any Jewish ties to the city of Hebron.

Netanyahu said that UNESCO “must stop the absurdity of passing resolutions which deny the connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel, between the Jewish people and our eternal capital Jerusalem.”

“No matter what UNESCO says, the Western Wall is not occupied Palestinian territory and the Cave of the Patriarchs – the burial site of Abraham and Sara, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob, and Leah – is not a Palestinian Heritage Site,” the Israeli premier declared.

In response to the agency’s persistent hostile conduct, Israel and the US “made a clear moral statement that UNESCO’s anti-Semitism will no longer be tolerated” and withdrew from the organization, Netanyahu said.

“When UNESCO ends its bias against Israel, stops denying history and starts standing up for the truth, Israel will be honored to rejoin. Until then, Israel will fight anti-Semitism at UNESCO and everywhere else,” the prime minister concluded.