The United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, is expected to hold a new vote on a draft resolution, which failed to acknowledge a biblical connection to the Temple Mount, following a request by Mexico to alter its position. According to the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, which voted in favor of the resolution, the central American country has rejected a section of the resolution which refers to Jerusalem’s holy sites only by their Islamic names. Mexico is therefore seeking to withdraw and change its previous vote, just one day before UNESCO’s executive board was scheduled to finalize proceedings on the resolution.
The draft, which referred to Jerusalem as “occupied Palestine”, was submitted by seven Muslim countries, including Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan. Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon distanced himself from the resolution, condemning the failure to reference the Temple Mount, which was only referred to by its Muslim name, to its biblical description. Israel’s envoy to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-haCohen said following the latest development that the Jewish state “will not give up and will fight (the resolution) to the end, against all odds.” He noted that “a change in the historical voting pattern of Mexico is a moral and diplomatic achievement for Israel and a continued trend of erosion for support of the resolution.”