UNESCO guilty of destruction ‘by diplomatic means’
UN cultural body’s resolution on Jerusalem akin to jihadist group’s destruction of Palmyra, says Yisrael Hasson
A March 31, 2016 picture shows the remains of the Temple of Bel’s “Cella” in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, which was blown up by Islamic State jihadists. (AFP/Joseph Eid)
The director of the Israel Antiquities Authority on Wednesday slammed UNESCO for its resolution on Jerusalem holy sites, comparing the UN cultural body to Islamic State jihadists.
Speaking at the opening of the new IAA headquarters in Jerusalem, director Yisrael Hasson said the resolution adopted last week and confirmed on Tuesday put the UN organization in the same league as IS jihadists who have destroyed and looted hundreds of archaeological sites in Syria and Iraq to fund their “caliphate.”
“Around us, world heritage treasures are being destroyed… They murdered Syrian archaeologist Khaled al-Asaad, who tried to protect heritage,” Hasson said recalling the 82-year-old retired head of antiquities in Palmyra who was beheaded by IS militants last year.
IS overran Palmyra — a UNESCO world heritage site known as the “Pearl of the Desert” — in May 2015 and used its ancient amphitheater for public executions.
The extremist group blew up temples and tower tombs as part of it campaign against pre-Islamic monuments it considers “blasphemous.”
“And recently UNESCO in essence joined this system of destruction by diplomatic means. This is essentially the same action by a diplomatic course,” Hasson said.
Damascus-born Hasson, a former Knesset member and deputy director of the Shin Bet, is the latest in a string of Israeli officials to slam the UNESCO decision, which Israel says ignores Jewish and Christian historical ties to Jerusalem’s holiest sites.
The resolution, passed Thursday in the committee stage at the United Nations cultural body, referred to the Temple Mount and Western Wall only by their Muslim names and condemned Israel as “the occupying power” for various actions taken in both sites.
The resolution was confirmed by UNESCO’s executive on Tuesday.
The IAA opened its new Jerusalem headquarters Wednesday despite the fact that the massive complex has yet to be completed.
Hasson and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at a gala dinner replete with singers, dancers, weavers, potters and ethnic-garbed women handing out commemorative coins, but which was held amid exposed wiring, unfinished concrete floors and walls, and empty offices.
Part of the reason for showcasing the building, which is to house antiquities from across the country as well as the agency’s laboratories and offices, was to raise the additional funds necessary to finish construction.
Once completed, the IAA building will be the home for artifacts currently stored at various warehouses nationwide, as well as the Rockefeller Museum’s rare books library.
Since Israel’s capture of East Jerusalem in 1967, the Antiquities Authority has been headquartered in the Rockefeller Museum, situated near the Old City’s Herod’s Gate.
The IAA’s move into its new headquarters was not without controversy. Critics, including the left-leaning archaeology NGO Emek Shaveh, petitioned the High Court of Justice to prevent artifacts from the Rockefeller library being transferred from their East Jerusalem home to the new facility. The appeal was based on the claim that international law bans the removal of cultural property from occupied territories. The court rejected the petition.
Despite the court’s ruling, antiquities from the Rockefeller will remain at the historic 1930s building, while the library will be transferred to the new facility.
Menachem Begin in December 1942 wearing the Polish Army uniform of Gen. Anders’ forces with his wife Aliza and David Yutan; (back row) Moshe Stein and Israel Epstein
(photo credit: JABOTINSKY ARCHIVES)
During the inauguration of a memorial to the victims of the Siege of Leningrad in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park on January 24, 2020, before the climax of Holocaust remembrance events at which Russian President Vladimir Putin was given a central platform, we were stunned to hear a rendition of The Blue Kerchief (Siniy
Giant figures are seen during the 87th carnival parade of Aalst February 15, 2015
The annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium, is expected to take place on Sunday with even more antisemitic elements than in previous years.
Aalst’s organizers have sold hundreds of “rabbi kits” for revelers to dress as hassidic Jews in the carnival’s parade. The kit includes oversized noses, sidelocks (peyot) and black hats. The organizers plan to bring back floats similar to the one displayed in 2019 featuring oversized dolls of Jews, with rats on their shoulders, holding banknotes.
Pope Francis waves as he arrives at the Basilica of Saint Nicholas in the southern Italian coastal city of Bari, Italy February 23, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Remo Casilli.
Pope Francis on Sunday warned against “inequitable solutions” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying they would only be a prelude to new crises, in an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace proposal.
Francis made his comments in the southern Italian port city of Bari, where he traveled to conclude a meeting of bishops from all countries in the Mediterranean basin.
Palestinians walk past a shop selling fruits in Ramallah, Feb. 20, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Mohamad Torokman.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have reached an agreement to end a five-month long trade dispute, officials said on Thursday.
The dispute, which opened a new front in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, began in September when the PA announced a boycott of Israel calves. The PA exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank under interim peace deals.
Antisemitic caricatures on display at the annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium. Photo: Raphael Ahren via Twitter.
Disturbing images emerged on Sunday of the annual carnival at Aalst, Belgium, showing an astounding number of antisemitic themes, costumes, displays and statements.
Israeli journalist Raphael Ahren documented people dressed as caricatures of Orthodox Jews, a fake “wailing wall” attacking critics of the parade, blatantly antisemitic characters and puppets wearing traditional Jewish clothes and sporting huge noses.
Feb 02, 2020 0The remarks from the US official came in wake of the Palestinian decision to reject the administration’s peace plan. US PRESIDENT Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrive to...
The stench of anti-Semitism always hovers over Switzerland’s Lake Geneva when the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is meeting there. The foul emanations reached a new nadir last week with UNHRC’s publication of a “database” of companies doing business in the disputed territories in Israel.
Following the publication of the list, Bruno Stagno Ugarte, deputy director for advocacy of NGO Human Rights Watch, stated, “The long-awaited release of the U.N. settlement business database should put all companies on notice: To do business with illegal settlements [sic] is to aid in the commission of war crimes.”
One of the many things that annoys me about politicians is how sure they are of themselves. Everything is black and white. Every idea is good or bad. Take globalism, for example. You either love it or hate it. It works or it doesn’t.
Another thing that annoys me is how so much of a politician’s life revolves around power: Do everything you can to get it, and everything you can to keep it.
Why am I ranting? Because, while our politicians have been consumed with power and the media with the fights over power, a threat to our nation has been virtually ignored.
Blue and White Party leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid are establishing their diplomatic credentials in the immediate run-up to Israel’s March 2 election with an insult to a U.S. administration that has arguably provided Israel with more diplomatic gains than any previous administration.
The Times of Israel reported that at a campaign stop in front of English-speaking Israelis, Gantz accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “of neglecting bipartisan ties in favor of exclusive support from U.S. President Donald Trump’s Republican Party,” under the headline “Gantz pledges to mend ties with U.S. Democrats if elected.”
Bipartisanship was in short supply at the State of the Union address earlier this month—with one notable exception.
Nancy Pelosi had been looking dyspeptic, shuffling the papers she would later rip to shreds, when President Donald Trump reminded his audience that “the United States is leading a 59-nation diplomatic coalition against the socialist dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.”
Suddenly, the House Speaker applauded. Trump then introduced “the true and legitimate president of Venezuela: Juan Guaidó.”
The law professor Alan Dershowitz has thrown a legal hand-grenade into America’s political civil war by claiming to have evidence that former President Barack Obama “personally asked” the FBI to investigate someone “on behalf” of Obama’s “close ally,” billionaire financier George Soros.
He made his cryptic remark in an interview defending U.S. President Donald Trump against claims he interfered in the prosecution of his former adviser, Roger Stone.