Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Fwd: Re: Contact UNESCO Today to Demand an End to the Delegitimization of Israel




-----Original Message-----
From: CAMERA Alert <alert@camera.org>
To: shainsha <shainsha@aol.com>
Sent: Tue, May 2, 2017 12:20 am
Subject: Contact UNESCO Today to Demand an End to the Delegitimization of Israel

 COMMITTEE FOR ACCURACY IN MIDDLE EAST REPORTING IN AMERICA

Contact UNESCO Today to Demand an End to the Delegitimization of Israel

May 1, 2017 
 
 
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Attention CAMERA E-Mail Team:
Tomorrow, May 2, is Yom Ha'azmaut, Israeli Independence Day. UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, is set to mark the day with yet another resolution delegitimizing the Jewish state, as well as its history, its holy sites, and its capital.
 
The draft text of the resolution on which UNESCO is planning a vote tomorrow, titled "Occupied Palestine," states that its aim is the "safeguarding of the cultural heritage of Palestine and the distinctive character of East Jerusalem." It affirms last December's UN Security Council Resolution 2334, a resolution that deemed Judaism's holiest sites in Jerusalem – the Temple Mount, the Mount of Olives, and the Western Wall – part of "Occupied Palestinian Territory." The draft text repeatedly calls Israel the "occupying Power" and calls all Israeli administrative actions "which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem," including Israel's Basic Law designating Jerusalem as its capital, "null and void" and calls for them to be rescinded.
 
It also calls on Israel to cease archeological excavations in Jerusalem – excavations which have repeatedly provided concrete evidence of the Jewish connection to the city.
 
The resolution then goes on to condemn what it calls "the continuous Israeli closure of the Gaza Strip." Notably, Egypt, which also shares a border with Gaza, was one of the six Arab countries that submitted the draft resolution.
 
It further refers to Hebron and Bethlehem as "Occupied Palestinian Territory" and condemns archeological excavations in Hebron. It refers to the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Rachel's Tomb by their English and Arabic, but not Hebrew, names.
 
This comes less than a week after all 100 US senators signed a letter condemning anti-Israel bias at the United Nations. In their letter, the Senators noted that "too often, the U.N. is exploited as a vehicle for targeting Israel," and specifically mentioned UNESCO. They noted that UNESCO "member states continue to advance measures that target Israel and deny the Jewish and Christian connection to Jerusalem."
 
On Friday, Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote that:  
The Executive Board of UNESCO refuses to put a stop to the politicization that is impairing the organization's standing. Contrary to the recommendation of UNESCO's director-general and despite the promises and statements made in the past year by various leaders, UNESCO continues the ritual of proposing an anti-Israel resolution that criticizes every action Israel takes in Jerusalem, adopts past resolutions denying the connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem, and recycles political condemnations against Israel concerning the Gaza Strip.
As the MFA also points out, statements concerning the sovereignty of Jerusalem are outside of the mandate of UNESCO, an organization that is "responsible for coordinating international cooperation in education, science, culture and communication."
 
The Trump administration is reportedly lobbying against the measure, as is B'nai B'rith. Meanwhile, Germany, which is on the UNESCO Executive Board, is believed to have led in the resolution's planning stages. 

B'nai B'rith wrote on its website that,
A UNESCO resolution engaged … in the wholesale denial of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem would be absurd and grossly irresponsible. No other country's capital is questioned internationally, no other country has historically maintained Jerusalem as its capital, no nation has deeper roots in its capital city, and no prior governing power ever protected diversity, culture and basic religious freedom in Jerusalem as Israel has.
ACTION ITEMS to  /  Top  /  In Brief  /  Action Item
1. Contact UNESCO Officers and Executive Board Member States:  
• Ms. Marie Paule Roudil, Director, UNESCO Liaison Office to the United Nations at mp.roudil@unesco.org 
• Ms. Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO at i.bokova@unesco.org

• George Papagiannis, Chief of UNESCO Media Relations at g.papagiannis@unesco.org

• Pilar Morel Vasquez, UNESCO External Relations and Public Information at P.Morel-vasquez@unesco.org

• Paola Leoncini-Bartoli, Chief of the Culture Sector, UNESCO at P.LEONCINI-BARTOLI@unesco.org
Germany is believed to have led the effort to make the language palatable to other EU states on the UNESCO Executive Board. 
Contact the German embassy to the UN in New York info@new-york-un.diplo.de 
The United Kingdom, India and Japan are also on the UNESCO Executive Board. The UK has recently proven to be an important ally to Israel at the UN. India has been trying to improve its relationship with Israel, and Japan is an important US ally.
Contact British diplomats at uk@un.int 

Contact Indian diplomats at india@un.int 

Contact Japanese diplomats at p-m-j@dn.mofa.go.jp 
Contact American diplomats as well. 
Contact the US Mission to the UN here or at USUNPolFax@state.gov or at (212) 415-4000.
Make the following points: 
• Tell them that this is a corruption of UNESCO's mission, which is to be "responsible for coordinating international cooperation in education, science, culture and communication."

• Let them know that the only time Jerusalem's Holy sites have been preserved and open to worship by different faith groups has been under Israeli control.

• Tell them to stop politicizing the group's mission.
2. Contact the media 

Proactively contact your local and national news outlets to demand that they report on this issue fully and fairly.

Please use the information in the alert as background for your own letter to the media. Do not copy and paste directly from the alert and do not forward it to the media.

Contact USA Today:
• Please write a letter to the editor through this contact form.
Write to The New York Times:
• Write a letter to the editor at letters@nytimes.com
  
• E-mail the News Department at nytnews@nytimes.com 
Write to The Washington Post:
• Please write a letter to the editor at letters@washpost.com
 
• E-mail Foreign News Editor Douglas Jehl at jehld@washpost.com
Contact NPR:
• Cut and paste your letter into the contact form for the NPR Ombudsman, Elizabeth Jensen. You can find that form here. Or call her at 202‑513‑3246.

• Call NPR at 202-513-2000.
Write to CNN:
• Copy and paste your letter into the CNN comment form. You can find that form here.
Write to the Wall Street Journal: 
• Write a letter to the editor at wsj.ltrs@wsj.com
• Copy the Journal's newsroom feedback at newsroom@wsj.com and at newseditors@wsj.com
3. Contact your Senators and Representatives 
Remind your Senators that they just asked UNESCO to stop targeting and delegitimizing Israel. Inform your Representative that all 100 Senators have asked UNESCO to stop singling out Israel. Educate your Senators and your Representative on what is happening and on why this is so problematic. 
• You can use this link to find your Senator and this link to find your Representative.
Please send blind copies of all correspondence (bcc) to letters@camera.org
 
With thanks,

Karen Bekker
Assistant Director 
International Letter-Writing Group 
CAMERA
 
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