Statement on Recent UNESCO Resolution

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

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.

ABOUT HADASSAH:

Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc. (HWZOA), is the largest Jewish women’s organization in the United States. With nearly 300,000 members, Associates and supporters, HWZOA brings women together to effect change and advocate on such critical issues as ensuring the security of Israel, combating antisemitism and promoting women’s health. Through the Hadassah Medical Organization's (HMO) two hospitals in Jerusalem, HWZOA helps support exemplary patient care for over a million people every year and HMO’s world-renowned medical research. HMO serves without regard to race, religion or nationality and earned a Nobel Peace Prize Nomination in 2005 for building “bridges to peace.” Additionally, HWZOA supports several Youth Aliyah villages that set at-risk children in Israel on the path to a successful future. For more information, visit www.hadassah.org or follow Hadassah on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.