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UN staff swiftly declines Netanyahu’s invitation for Israeli history lesson

In response to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s invitation to a lesson on Jewish history, a senior United Nations official replied on Saturday that UN staff are very well versed on the region’s conflict, AFP reported.

The UN’s special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Nickolay Mladenov, balked at Netanyahu’s implication that UN staff are unaware of the conflict’s historical context.

“If someone wants to issue invitations they should be for Paris and addressed to the ambassadors of the member-states of UNESCO there,” Mladenov said in a statement.

“UN staff in Jerusalem know the history of the region, its people and religions all too well,” he said.

The UN statement comes in response to Netanyahu’s suggestion on Friday that all United Nations staff in Israel should attend a seminar, keenly hosted by Netanyahu himself, on Jewish history, after a decision by UNESCO’s Executive Board in Paris adopted a resolution that failed to acknowledge Jewish ties to Jerusalem’s holiest site.

The broad-ranging resolution condemns Israeli actions in east Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip but focus in large part on Israeli actions with regard to the Temple Mount and Western Wall Plaza.

“I was shocked to hear that UNESCO adopted a decision denying any Jewish connection to the Temple Mount, our holiest site,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.

“It is hard to believe that anyone, let alone an organization tasked with preserving history, could deny this link, which spans thousands of years.”

A member of Netanyahu’s staff said the UNESCO


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