Israeli diplomat says UNESCO resolution is less important than fixing his toilet
By Ruth Eglash, The Washington Post
JERUSALEM – Israelis are not known for their love of the United Nations and its institutions, but a resolution was passed on Friday for the continued Israeli occupation of the old city of Hebron in the West Bank and the damage it could cause to the holy sites there Flew normal response:
“I’m sorry … I have a very urgent … I’m sorry, Mr. President … it’s my plumber in my apartment in Paris. It’s not a huge problem in my bathroom, and that’s more important than the decision we just made. Approve, thank you, “Carmel Shama-Hacohen, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, said sarcastically while facing the Forum’s annual meeting.
The Conference adopted a resolution proposed by Lebanon, Kuwait and Tunisia to place Hebron, including the sacred site where Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their wives were worshiped by Jews, Christians and Muslims for thousands of years on the Heritage List Of endangered sites.
Referred to by Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs and by Muslims as the Abrahamic Mosque after the 14th-century house of prayer built, the place was a starting point for Israeli-Palestinian violence for decades.
Tensions are constantly high in and around the old city of Hebron, where a few hundred Jews live under heavy Israeli military protection surrounded by more than 200,000 Palestinians living on the edge of the city.
In January, Palestinians – as part of a diplomatic campaign to create an independent state free of Israeli occupation – have asked UNESCO to include in Hebron the World Heritage List and then asked whether it was recognized as a site in Danger its territory.
The Palestinians have presented a dossier explaining the necessity of this state, focusing on the historical character of the city since 1250, the beginning of the Mamelouole period of Islamic rule. Jews and Christians were also present in the city at the time, but their activities were limited.
The International Council on Monuments and Sites then tried to evaluate the application and explore the site. A report to UNESCO stated that it could not fully justify the registration of Hebron as an endangered site, but noted that the Council had not fully implemented its mandate after not receiving “necessary approvals” from Israel to go to Hebron.