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UNESCO silent as Hamas bulldozes world heritage site to make terrorist training camp

UNESCO session in Paris busy targeting Israel in 5 agenda items

GENEVA, April 15– In an urgent letter sent today to UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova , UN Watch demanded immediate action to stop the Hamas bulldozing of a 3000-year-old Gaza harbour for use as a terrorist training camp, as reported by Al Monitor Palestine Pulse. A copy was also sent to EU foreign minister Catherine Ashton calling on the EU to take action.

The partial destruction of the ancient Anthedon Harbor—which includes the ruins of a Roman temple and archaeological remains from the Persian, Hellenistic, and Byzantine eras—comes exactly one year after the area was nominated by new UNESCO member state Palestine as a World Heritage site.

UN Watch called on Bokova to bring the issue before the UNESCO Executive Board now meeting in Paris.

Although the biannual UNESCO meeting, which runs until April 26, lists five agenda items concerning Palestinian issues—which US Ambassador Killion has described as "highly politicized" and designed to "single out Israel"—there is currently no scheduled discussion to address the month-long Hamas bulldozing of the proposed heritage site for use as a terrorist training camp.

As is the norm at UNESCO, Israel is the only country in the world targeted for criticism at this month's Executive Board session. In this respect, UNESCO arguably ranks as the most anti-Israel agency in the United Nations system.

Last year, only after a major UN Watch campaign, UNESCO exceptionally condemned Syria. Yet nothing is planned on Syria in the current session; on the contrary, the murderous Assad regime continues to hold one of 30 coveted seats on UNESCO's human rights committee, absurdly allowing it to judge the human rights records of other countries.
pape francois
Photo by Osservatore Romano/REUTERS
Source Israel Jewish Journal

If the Jewish world was waiting for a sign from Pope Francis regarding his relations with its community, it didn't take long.
On his first day as Pope today, Francis I wrote to the Chief Rabbi of the Rome Jewish Community, Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni, inviting him to his Inauguration on March 19, and expressing his hope of a renewed collaboration with the Jewish Community.


A historic speech at the European Parliament - March 2013
Report by Nuno Wahnon Martins
March 13, 2013


Israel's President Shimon Peres' visit to the institutions of the European Union ended with a historic speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg where he addressed a plenary session of the House. He concentrated on three main issues: Hezbollah and Iran, the agreements between Israel and the European Union and the need for global enterprises to invest in the Middle East to create lasting developments.

During last week's visit Peres started his European Union programme in the European Parliament where he was the keynote speaker at a ceremony commemorating the saving of Bulgarian Jews. Not only did he praise the Bulgarian people, but he also praised the moral importance of their action which should stand as an example to others.


B'nai B'rith welcomes Pope Francis, who was elected at the Vatican on March 13 by the 115 Catholic cardinals eligible to vote.

The new pope who is 76 years old, became the Archbishop of Argentina in 1998. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now pope Francis is the first pope from Latin America and the first non-European pope in history. He will lead a Catholic church with 1.2 billion followers.

In November, then-Cardinal Bergoglio was the keynote speaker at B'nai B'rith's Krystallnacht commemoration in Buenos Aires, where he helped light the menorah.


At a United Nations "Alliance of Civilizations" summit, convened to focus on global tolerance, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan engaged in a deplorable act by calling Zionism "a crime against humanity."
B'nai B'rith strongly condemns Erdoğan's effort to revive inflammatory language equating Zionism with racism. This insidious canard was introduced at the United Nations in 1975 and rightly revoked in 1991. Erdoğan has reintroduced this odious charge to the U.N. environment.
Zionism is the embodiment of the millennia-old Jewish longing for self-determination and a return to the Jewish homeland.
Erdoğan made his pronouncement before an audience of senior-international leaders in Vienna, including U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
This is not the first time Erdoğan has made inciteful remarks about Israel or Jews. In November, he called Israel a "terrorist state," during the Hamas-instigated fighting in Gaza.
B'nai B'rith calls on Erdoğan to apologize for his remarks and urges the United Nations to condemn these sentiments.



Dear Ms. Mayoress,

B’nai B’rith Europe, the oldest Jewish civil society organization (with 110 associations in 27 European countries), hereby deplores the decision of the Bulgarian authorities of having allowed the Lukov march to take place in Sofia on the 16th of February 2013.

 We had hoped that the same country that saved its Jewish population 70 years ago and has adhered to the European Union and its democratic values, will find it only fitting to stop a neo-Nazi, nationalistic and anti-Semitic march through the streets of Sofia. Such manifestations can only contribute to the dissemination of hate, intolerance and prejudice; they undermine the very essence of group cohesion and unity in an all-inclusive society working for a peaceful coexistence.



Ralph Hofmann                                                    Erika van Gelder

President B’nai B’rith Europe                              Senior Vice President B’nai B’rith Europe

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