Sunday, 27 September 2020

Chamber of Deputies denounces UNESCO Jerusalem resolution

ČTK |
20 October 2016

Prague, Oct 19 (CTK) - The Czech Chamber of Deputies sharply denounced the Arab countries-proposed UNESCO resolution on cultural heritage in eastern Jerusalem, about which Israel says it ignores the Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, at its session on Wednesday.

The lower house of the Czech parliament said the government should use all opportunities to express the Czech Republic's negative attitude to it and to protest against the politicisation of UNESCO.

The resolution called Occupied Palestine only uses Muslim names for the places in Jerusalem's Old City, criticising Israel for "provocative abuses that violate the sanctity and integrity” of the area.

The Chamber of Deputies said the document denied the historic ties between the Jewish nation and the Temple Mount and the Wailing Wall.

It is "written in a hateful, anti-Israeli spirit, denying not only Jewish, but also Christian ties to the holy sites in Jerusalem," it added.

The formulation used in the resolution contradicts the U.N. neutral and peaceful character, discrediting UNESCO and enhancing anti-Semitic tendencies, the Czech resolution said.

The Chamber of Deputies resolution was drafted by Jana Cernochova (Civic Democratic Party, ODS), Daniel Korte (TOP 09) and Robin Bohnisch (Social Democrats, CSSD).

Some lawmakers said in the debate the Czech Republic should stand up on behalf of its ally, Israel.

"It is the same as if we denied the Czechs' relationship with the Prague Castle, the seat of Czech heads of state," Korte said.

Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (CSSD) said if the Czech Republic were represented on the UNESCO Executive Board, it would have voted against.

Zaoralek stressed that the Czech Republic had a relatively good position in the Middle East region, enjoying the trust of both the Arab and Jewish sides and being able to communicate with both of them.

"Now we have the position of a correct partner, something which we seek," Zaoralek said, adding that sometimes it is better to keep silent.

The Czech resolution was approved by 119 out of the 149 deputies of the CSSD, ANO, Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), TOP 09, the ODS and the Dawn, who were present.

Only four deputies for the Communists (KSCM) were against the resolution, while another 24 abstained from the vote.

Israel was angered by the UNESCO resolution, while the Palestinians openly welcomed it.

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