Congressman Gaetz and Senator Cruz Introduce Resolution Defending Israel, Condemning UNESCO

October 13, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL-1) yesterday introduced a resolution, H.Res.570, reaffirming the deep historical connection between the Jewish people and the city of Jerusalem. The resolution also expresses support for the Israeli government’s protection of religious freedom for all faiths, and condemns the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for the cruel and demeaning anti-Israel resolutions they have passed in recent years. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) will introduce the companion resolution in the U.S. Senate next week.

The State Department announced on Thursday that the United States would be leaving UNESCO because of its “anti-Israel bias.” Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, called the decision “brave and moral,” and indicated that Israel is planning to withdraw from UNESCO as well. The United States, however, will remain an “observer state” in UNESCO. Rep. Gaetz’s and Senator Cruz’s resolution urges America, regardless of its UNESCO membership, to work with its allies and prevent future anti-Israeli resolutions from being adopted.

“The Jewish people, and the people of Israel, have a deep and ancient connection to the holy city of Jerusalem. Yet the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, is actively trying to rewrite history. UNESCO has not been silent in their condemnations of Israel. Each year brings new horrors. Their cruelty, their attempts to erase history, and their anti-Semitism cannot be tolerated any longer,” Rep. Gaetz said.

“The Trump Administration has demonstrated strong moral clarity in deciding to withdraw and continuing to withhold U.S. taxpayer dollars from UNESCO as a result of its relentless hostility towards our close ally Israel,” Sen. Cruz said. “I am proud to have worked with Rep. Matt Gaetz on this bicameral resolution that formally rejects UNESCO’s shameful and absurd attempts to deliberately erase the history of Jerusalem, Israel’s eternal capital. This resolution reaffirms the profound historical connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem that has existed for thousands of years, describes archeological excavations at the City of David that have revealed incontrovertible, physical evidence of the Jewish, as well as Christian ties to Jerusalem, and denounces efforts at UNESCO to delegitimize Israel and deny historical truth.”

In the past, UNESCO has remained silent when acts of anti-Israel terrorism have been committed, but quick to issue resolutions condemning and demeaning Israel. Recent resolutions have called Israel as an “occupying power” in Jerusalem, and recently, they have barred Israeli scientists from performing archaeological excavations in the Old City of Jerusalem, even though scientists’ previous findings have been of great significance to Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike.

A video and transcript of Congressman Gaetz’s floor speech can be found below.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH REP. GAETZ’S FLOOR SPEECH

TRANSCRIPT

I rise today to support our friend and ally Israel and to stand for the obvious proposition that Israel, the Jewish people, have an ancient connection to the city of Jerusalem. 

This connection has been forged through millennia shared faith and shared history yet the U.N. is actually trying to rewrite history and condemn Jerusalem and call it an occupying power in Jerusalem and prevent scientists from excavating even though past findings have been significant. 

They have been silent when Israel's culture has been attacked including the desecration and burning of holy sites. Each year there are no horrors to the U.N. their cruelty and attempts to erase history and anti-Semitism cannot be tolerated any longer. 

Today I'm introducing a resolution reaffirming the connection of the Jewish people to the city of Jerusalem and condemning UNESCO’s attempts to punish and delegitimize Israel. 

I encourage my colleagues to show solidarity with Israel and to support the President’s removal of the United States from UNESCO and to support this resolution I proposed.