Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett said today (October 14, 2016) that Israel will suspend its cooperation with UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) because of the UN agency's decision to ignore Jewish ties to holy sites in Jerusalem, the JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) website reports.
Bennett's statement today followed passionate condemnations by Israel as well as international Jewish groups and communities of a vote yesterday in Paris by the executive board of UNESCO.
Through a majority of 24 to 6 votes, the board passed a preliminary version of a resolution that calls several sites holy to Judaism only by their Islamic names without mentioning their Jewish names in Hebrew or English. The sites include the Temple Mount, referred to as Al-Haram Al-Sharif.
Israeli officials will neither meet UNESCO representatives nor engage in cooperation in international conferences or professional cooperation with the organization, Bennet said, following the outpouring of condemnations by several nations, including the United States.