Conference of Presidents Leaders Condemn UNESCO World Heritage Committee Resolutions Seeking to Erase Jewish and Christian Connection to Holy Sites in Jerusalem and Hebron

New York, NY,. . . Stephen M. Greenberg, Chairman and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations issued the following statement:

“We strongly condemn the adoption by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee of two more resolutions in the relentless Palestinian campaign to erase the more than 3,800-year Jewish and 2,000-year Christian connection to the holy sites in Jerusalem, Hebron and elsewhere in Israel.  The two resolutions passed this week again reveal the Committee’s politically driven disregard of historical facts, disdain for Jewish heritage and disrespect for its mission to preserve the world’s cultural and religious heritage. These outrageous assaults on history, tradition, and religious beliefs must be reversed.

No amount of UN resolutions based on lies and distortions can rob the Jewish people of its heritage or break the historical connections to some of the most sacred roots of the Jewish religion.

Today’s resolution on the Cave of the Patriarchs and Hebron disregarded the facts presented in a report by UNESCO’s own independent panel of experts and ignored their recommendation against adding them to the list of World Heritage Sites in Danger at this time.

By conducting the vote today in a secret ballot, the current Chair of the Committee and those member states who voted for the resolution clearly demonstrated they understood the shameful nature of their action. 

As with the disgraceful resolution on Jerusalem adopted by the World Heritage Committee earlier this week, if the four European Union countries on the Committee who abstained, had voted against the resolution, it would have failed to get the necessary two-thirds of those voting in order to pass.

The complicity of Poland, Finland, Croatia and Portugal, in abetting the shameful outcomes of the resolutions is disgraceful.

We call on U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova and other world leaders to speak out forcefully against the scurrilous resolutions adopted by the World Heritage Committee this week filled with false information, baseless accusations against Israel and gravely insulting the most fundamental elements of Judeo-Christian heritage.” 

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The Conference of Presidents is the central coordinating body representing 50 national Jewish organizations on issues of national and international concern

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