NEW YORK — Holocaust victims and Palestinians were both given moments of silence Tuesday at a United Nations meeting after a Cuban representative objected to a moment of silence for those killed in the Holocaust — amid continued claims that the U.N. has a deep-seated anti-Israel bias.
According to the Jerusalem Post, the incidents occurred at a UNESCO World Heritage Committee meeting in Poland, where it approved a resolution disavowing Israeli sovereignty of Jerusalem’s Old City and its ancient walls. Slamming the decision, Israeli representative Shama Hacohen called the vote outrageous and noted that it took place close to where millions of Jews were killed during the Holocaust.
“Indeed, under the right weather conditions, the smells of the crematorium maybe reached the very place where we are now seated,” he said.
The Post reported that he then request a moment of silence for those killed by the Nazis, before telling the members that like Adolf Hitler, “you will not succeed as well in denying the Holocaust or in your efforts to destroy Israel or Jewish history.” There was then a moment of silence.
That provoked a response from the Cuban representative, who reportedly accused Hacohen of politicizing the event and then called for a moment of silence for Palestinians who have been killed in the region. The Post reports that most people stood for both, although the Israeli delegation did not stand for the Palestinian moment of silence. Hacohen latter attacked what he called the “horrifying parallel between Holocaust victims to other victims and Palestinian victims” and said there was no distinction made between innocent Palestinians and terrorists.
Hacohen latter attacked what he called the “horrifying parallel between Holocaust victims to other victims and Palestinian victims,” and said there was no distinction made between innocent Palestinians and terrorists.
The vote affirmed 10-3 that Jerusalem’s Old City and its walls are on the World Heritage in Danger list, while eight abstained. The committee also approved text referring to Israel as the “occupying power.”
“Another bizarre and irrelevant decision by UNESCO, that is acting on behalf of the enemies of history and the truth,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement, according to the Times of Israel. “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people, and no decision by UNESCO can change that reality. It is sad, unnecessary and pathetic. It is worth noting that the decision didn’t even get a majority of votes.”
On Friday, the committee will vote on whether to add Hebron’s Old City and the Tomb of the Patriarchs on the World Heritage in Danger list for “Palestine” despite the fact that the entity of Palestine does not exist. The tomb in Hebron is considered Judaism’s second holiest site after the Temple Mount.
This is the latest anti-Israel move by the U.N.’s cultural body. In May, UNESCO voted to declare Jerusalem “occupied” by Israel and called Israeli rule “null and void.” The U.S. voted against the move and condemned the resolution.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY