“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.” Winston Churchill was often right. And so, in the end, Matteo Renzi has called UNESCO’s recent decision to deny the Jews any historical relationship with Israel, Jerusalem, and the Western Wall, as well as giving this historical legacy solely to Muslims as “shocking” and “incredible”.
He summoned the Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni in order to ask why Italy abstained instead of opposing, as did the UK and Germany, such a monstrous lie.
It’s good thing for Italy that this has happened, it’s good for the world, for reason and common sense. Moreover, it’s a great satisfaction for those of us who have written about this issue. Myself, I have been denouncing the wrong deed since 2001, and I started bombarding since the first signs of this last disgusting attack in these last two weeks.
During these last days, two new archaeological discoveries have been added to the bulk of evidence already attesting to Jerusalem’s Jewishness: a papyrus from 2700 years ago was found in the desert, where the word Jerusalem is written in Hebrew, and the site of the battle in which the troops of Titus in 70 A.D. breached the city walls was discovered.
As if proof was needed: who doesn’t know that Jerusalem is part and parcel of the Jewish homeland? The UN and its derivatives don’t know it and Italy Renzi said conformed “automatically” to its anti-Semitic denials. But after our repeated protests on the front pages of Il Giornale, and, immediately afterward, after the fine campaign and demonstration organized by the newspaper Il Foglio, and the outrage by Jews around the world, Matteo Renzi has realized the gravity of the Italian delegation, which abstained on the motion that gives to the Islamic world the most precious legacy of Jewish history: Jerusalem.
It doesn’t often happen that a prime minister criticizes a gesture taken by his government by calling it “an automatism.” But at the UN and in its organizations there’s a habit for this kind of automatism: all except a brave few are willing to vote that even donkeys fly as long as it respects two basic rules, namely uniformity in voting, and the criminalization of Israel.
Without this automatism it would not have beeen possible the following: the Human Rights Council has adopted 135 resolutions from 2006 to 2015, of which 68have been against Israel; the General Assembly has approved 97 from 2012 to 2015, of which 83 have been against Israel; and UNESCO, which should defend culture and doesn’t seem to protest when Palmyra has been destroyed, adopts 10 resolutions every year, and all of them,100 percent, against Israel. A noble tradition.
Italy abstains or votes in favor, I have no memory of the country where I was born and I am a citizen of (beyond my Israeli passport!) undertaking any action of courageous opposition. Renzi has now awakened, grasping this fact, thanks to his basically good attitude toward Israel and to his good relations with Bibi Netanyahu, as he said to the press. and also thanks to our voices. Italy abstained even when Hebron – home to the Tomb of the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – was declared Muslim; and also when the World Health Organization, which usually only votes on positive resolutions to improve health throughout the world, sanctioned a single nation: the one that treats in its hospitals families from Gaza, and who heals the wounds of young men who certainly are not Zionist in Syrian war, as well as illnesses of Hamas and Al Fatah leader’s relatives.
Ok now, bravo Mr. Prime Minister, you know that the battle has just begun, you have open that automatic door that has always been closed by the hands of diplomats in the UN and neighbor hoods. We will continue to fight confidently that you will also keep that door open, especially now that you have been able to verify the absurdity of anti-Israel hatred within international institutions.
Translation by Amy K. Rosenthal
This article originally appeared in slightly different form in Italian in Il Giornale (October 22, 2016)