New York, NY, April 24, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed a compromise reached at UNESCO which would avoid the Palestinian Authority’s presenting five resolutions critical of Israel, saying the agreement “represents important progress in the effort to get UNESCO out of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and to rightly focus attention on protecting world heritage sites.”
The compromise calls for Israel to allow UNESCO experts to inspect areas in and around the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Mughabri Ascent to the Temple Mount area, in exchange for the Palestinians postponing the resolutions, according to reports. ADL praised the United States and Russia, who led the effort to broker the compromise agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
This compromise represents important progress in the effort to get UNESCO out of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and to rightly focus attention on protecting world heritage sites.
The issues of construction and protection of sites in Jerusalem’s Old City are a highly sensitive matter, and must not be used by the Palestinians for political gain. We are greatly appreciative of the efforts of all parties involved, particularly those of U.S. Ambassador David Killion and Russian Ambassador Eleonora Mitrofanova, who were both instrumental in brokering this deal.
For too long, UNESCO and other international bodies have been used by the Palestinians (even before they attained UNESCO membership) as forums for attacking Israel and avoiding returning to negotiating table. We hope that this agreement marks the end of Palestinian efforts to politicize these international bodies and a new openness to constructive compromise.