In the hour-long meeting, the Center’s delegation expressed its indigation at the vote endorsing ‘Palestinian’ membership into UNESCO. Rabbi Hier also protested the statement by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas delivered to the United Nations General Assembly which recogznied only two religions in the Holy Land: Islam and Christianity. The statement effectively deleted Judaism from history and Director-General Bokova asked that her aide obtain the Abbas speech.
To counter this delegitimization of Israel and the Jewish people, Rabbi Hier proposed that UNESCO and the Wiesenthal Center co-sponsor an exhibit of the 3,500 year Jewish attachment to the Land of Israel to be launched at UNESCO’s Paris headquarters. The delegation also insisted that UNESCO is obligated to demand of the new member, ‘Palestine’, to hold to the regulations of UNESCO in excising anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial from its school texts and newspapers. As always, the Center will continue to monitor developments at UNESCO.
In the lead up to and following the vote admitting 'Palestine', Director-General Bokova received tens of thousands of petition protests from Simon Wiesenthal Center supporters around the world.