(ESFI Editorial Staff) Last week, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), voted that there was no connection between the Jewish people and the Temple Mount. The voting created a stir amongst many in the Judeo-Christian communities. Now, at the request of Mexico, there will be a new vote to further the discussion.
Mexico’s Secretariat of Foreign Affairs voted in favor of the contentious resolution. The country objected to the resolution which refers to Jerusalem’s holy sites only with Islamic terms.
Now, Mexico desires to withdraw and recast its vote the day before UNESCO’s executive board is to close proceedings on the resolution. The draft resolution, however, remains the majority and is expected to repass. Unfortunately, it appears unlikely the country’s vote will ultimately change.
With a new representative to UNESCO following an autocratic split in which the Mexican ambassador Andres Roemer—who is also Jewish—would not vote in favor of the resolution leading to his firing.
Earlier this month, Roemer attended the funeral of Shimon Peres, Israel’s ninth president. After the funeral, Roemer promised current President Reuven Rivlin, and other leaders in the Israeli Foreign Ministry, that he would vote against the draft resolution.
When it was time to cast his vote, Roemer’s government instructed him to vote in favor of the resolution. This prompted him to silently protest by leaving the room which forced a junior representative to vote in his place.
Roemer’s decision raised ire among the Jewish community in Mexico, with some calling him a “traitor.” He was fired as a way to calm the anger in the Jewish community.
Carmel Shama-Hacohen, Israel’s envoy to the UNESCO, stated, “We will not give up and fight to the end against all odds…I spoke to the Mexican envoy who touched my heart and informed me in our last conversation that his dismissal is inevitable, but at least we can smile because we succeeded in changing Mexico’s position in the future.
“His dismissal is not good news for us, as he is a true friend of Israel, but a change in the historical voting pattern of Mexico is a moral and diplomatic achievement for Israel and a continued trend of erosion for support of the resolution.”
On Sunday, UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, distanced himself from the resolution, coming out against the failure to reference the site using its Jewish epithet.
The UN spokesperson read a statement on behalf of Ban that, in part, stated “The Secretary-General reaffirms the importance of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls for the three monotheistic religions and stresses the importance of the religious and historical link of the Jewish, Muslim and Christian peoples to the holy site.”
“The Al Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram al-Sharif, the sacred shrine of Muslims, is also the Har HaBayit—or Temple Mount—whose Western Wall is the holiest place in Judaism, a few steps away from the Saint Sepulcher Church and the Mount of Olives, which is revered by Christians,” Ban added.
H/t: Ynet News, See: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4867328,00.html