Hadassah

Statement on Recent UNESCO Resolution

Wednesday, Oct 21 2015

MEDIA INQUIRES CONTACT:
Renee Young, National Public Relations
ryoung@hadassah.org
(212) 303- 8140

STATEMENT FROM MARCIE NATAN, PRESIDENT, HADASSAH

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) passed a resolution—prepared by the Palestinian Authority and introduced by six Arab states—that would designate Jewish holy sites as exclusively Muslim sites. In response to criticism, a new version removed the clause that declared the Western Wall an "integral part" of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. However, the resolution that passed still included a provision to recognize Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem and the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron as Muslim sites.

Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, stands with Israel in the face of attacks on both its sovereignty and security, deploring the passage of this incendiary resolution.

The Palestinian denial of any Jewish connection to its holiest sites is an attempt to rewrite history.These efforts to claim ownership are emblematic of the Palestinian refusal to accept the existence of Jews in the Jewish homeland. This resolution further aggravates existing tensions and incites additional violence in the region, as it dangerously reframes the conflict as not only political but religious.

Hadassah’s National President Marcie Natan expressed her concern about this destructive resolution to UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, and head of the UNESCO Liaison Office to the UN Marie Paule Roudil, along with the 58 Executive Board countries. Additionally, Hadassah members were mobilized to voice their opposition to this resolution as well. Additional information can be found on the Hadassah National Action Center.

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Hadassah is the largest Jewish women’s organization in the United States. With 330,000 members, associates and supporters across the country, Hadassah brings Jewish women together to effect change and advocate on criticalissues such as medical care and research, women's empowerment, and the security of Israel. Through the Hadassah Medical Organization's (HMO) two hospitals, the world-renowned trauma center and the leading research facility in Jerusalem, Hadassah supports the delivery of exemplary patient care to over a million people every year. HMO serves without regard to race, religion or nationality and earned a Nobel Peace Prize Nomination in 2005 for building “bridges to peace” through equality in medical treatment. For more information, visit www.hadassah.org.

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