TEL AVIV – Germany’s Ambassador to UNESCO was strongly criticized by a Jewish human rights organization after observing a minute’s silence for “Palestinian victims” at the cultural agency’s annual meeting in Krakow, Poland last week.
The 21 member states of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee held a moment of silence first for Holocaust victims and then again for the Palestinians after Cuba’s representative complained that her Israeli counterpart, Carmel Shama-Hacohen, had turned the meeting “into a politicized circus” by requesting the minute of silence in the first place.
“Let me request that we stand for a moment of silence for all the Palestinians who have died in the region,” Maria Buergo Rodriguez said at the agency’s annual meeting in Krakow, Poland.
Most of the representatives responded to Rodriguez’ request, including German Ambassador Stefan Krawielicki. Shama-Hacohen refused to stand for the Palestinian minute of silence, saying he would not accept the “horrifying parallel between Holocaust victims to other victims and Palestinian victims.” He noted also that in the Palestinian case, there was no distinction made between actual victims and Palestinian terrorists who were killed while carrying out attacks against Israelis.
On Monday, Dr. Shimon Samuels, the international director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), who was in attendance at the meeting in Krakow, told the Algemeiner that he was “outraged” at the “German amalgam drawn between six million murdered Jews of Europe and the ‘Palestinians.’”
In a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Samuels stated that “on July 4, following the egregious passage of a resolution to obliterate Jewish sovereignty or even affinity to Jerusalem, the Israeli ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-Hacohen, requested a moment of silence to the memory of the victims of the Nazis. German Ambassador Stefan Krawielicki stood among most others in the hall.”
The letter continued, “At the bidding of the Cuban ambassador, a second moment of silence was then held in support of ‘the Palestinians.’ Ambassador Krawielicki stood once again.”
“We are horrified at this amalgam between the millions of defenseless Jews gassed and shot — among them 1.5 million children — by the Nazis and their associates across Europe on the one hand,” Samuels wrote, “on the other, Palestinians, who rejoice when their terrorists murder Jews — among them children.”
“To link the Holocaust, in any way, to so-called ‘Palestinian victims,’ thus casting Israelis as Nazis, is a form of Holocaust revisionism illegal under German law,” Samuels said.
Watch both minutes of silence at the UNESCO meeting in Krakow, Poland on July 4.