Paul Alster
Israel-based print and broadcast journalist

UNESCO latest: London is not British

Hot on the heels of Thursday’s cringingly bizarre decision by UNESCO to deny any special connection between the Jewish people and the City of Jerusalem, a new motion is expected to be passed by the same UN member states in the coming days denying any connection the British people might have to London.

Despite London having been the capital of England for almost a millennium (since 1066) – about a third of the time Jerusalem has been the capital of the homeland of the Jews – the predominately Muslim block at UNESCO reportedly feels there is not enough concrete proof, (despite the many historical sites there), that the city belongs to the Brits.

Rumors abound that a claim is about to be staked by those Muslim majority countries at UNESCO who helped pass the Jerusalem motion, (and those with large Muslim minorities), that London is, in fact, an under-reported ancient seat of the Islamic faith.

And similar to yesterday’s new recommendation that Jerusalem’s holy Jewish sites should henceforth be known only by Arabic names, London’s famous landmarks will also be renamed in Arabic. (Apparently, her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is somewhat uncomfortable with having to refer to her family home henceforth as the Burj el Buckingham, having become quite attached to its previous name during the last 90 years.)

Britain was one of just six countries to oppose Thursday’s UNESCO denial of the Jerusalem connection to the Jewish people. The others were the United States, Holland, Estonia, Germany and Lithuania. Among the 24 nations who voted in favor of overlooking the Jewish connection to Jerusalem from the UN record were Brazil, China, Mexico, the Russian Federation, Vietnam and South Africa. Among those nations who abstained from voting were Argentina, France, India, Japan, Spain, Sweden, Uganda and the Ukraine.

In denying the long-standing Jewish connection to its eternal capital city, and in an attempt to undermine not only the religious connection of the Jewish people to the ancient city – the city of the First and Second Temples built thousands of years ago – but also the legitimacy of the modern State of Israel, the UNESCO vote, by inference, now casts serious doubts on the roots of Christianity.

The position and heritage of no less a figure than Jesus Christ – whose Jewish childhood and Jewish faith formed the basis of his teachings and, subsequently, the New Testament – will also be challenged by UNESCO. Christ’s more than 2000 year old association with Jerusalem, accepted long ago as having contributed to so many of his ideas and teachings, is reportedly set to be revised by UNESCO’s historians in a similar manner to the legitimacy of the city itself.

UNESCO’s expert panel apparently doubts the veracity of many of the things Christ is said to have done and said, primarily because the cornerstone and main scene of that historical period is Jerusalem. According to this week’s decision, and despite the overwhelming historical and archeological eveidence of the last three millenia, they contend that Jerusalem never was a Jewish city and a center of learning in the Land of Israel.

Latest unconfirmed reports indicate that UNESCO may then turn it’s gaze to Beijing – “there’s never been a conclusively proven Chinese presence there” – and subsequently to Athens – “the Acropolis is no definite proof that the Greek people inhabited the land prior to their entry into the EU”.

The cancellation of Jerusalem’s historical connection to the Jewish people by this “august” UN body, could now open the floodgates for a large number of other historical revisionist projects, all sponsored (with a straight face), by this flagship United Nations organization.

About the Author
Paul Alster is an Israel-based broadcast journalist with a special interest in the Israel/Palestinian conflict and Middle East politics. He is a regular contributor to a variety of international news websites including The Jerusalem Report, and was formerly's main Middle East correspondent. He can be followed on Twitter @paul_alster or at