Israeli Ministers withdraw request to join special UNESCO conference
The US suggests Israeli Ministers not pressure Saudi Arabia as it might negatively impact potentially positive advancements on the path toward normalization agreement.
Israeli Ministers withdrew their request for participation in the upcoming special UNESCO conference set to take place in Saudi Arabia later this month after the US State Department warned that such a step might pressure Saudi Arabia and negatively impact the Saudi-Israeli path toward normalization.
According to the US, the advancement in communication to reach a normalization agreement is more valuable than having Israeli ministers attend a special UNESCO conference in Riyadh. As a compromise, Israeli experts will attend the conference after ministers withdrew their request for participation.
Earlier, Saudi Arabia, after multiple requests and significant pressure, granted invitations to the Israeli Occupation's Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and Minister Yoav Kish. However, Riyadh had placed considerable difficulties for the Israeli delegation and had not provided them with the required entry visas.
US officials considered the Israeli pressure on Saudi Arabia to be a miscalculation. Israeli officials reported that US officials told them "This is not the time, this is too early" and suggested that instead of receiving no entry visas from Saudi Arabia, the better option is for "Israel" to withdraw its request for its ministers to attend the conference.
UNESCO designating Ariha as Palestinian site infuriates 'Israel'
"Israel" harshly criticized the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization over plans to designate Ariha as a Palestinian World Heritage site.
Ancient Ariha, the 10,000-year-old city, is one of 53 natural and cultural sites that the World Heritage Committee will vote on when it convenes in Saudi Arabia in two weeks.
According to UNESCO, ancient Ariha, also known as Tell es-Sultan, holds a key position on the map of West Asia's historical map. That region which has been dubbed the cradle of civilization, has "functioned as a cross-point for ancient road networks running north-south and east-west, serving as an intermediate place for culture and trade," connecting Asia with Africa.
Ariha, the UNESCO website highlights, "has a rich and long-lasting cultural heritage, spanning from prehistoric eras, attested by diverse material culture found and still visible in the excavated trenches at the site," adding that "Archaeological investigations documented 23 layers of ancient civilizations from the Natufian period (10th millennium BC) until the end of the Byzantine period (7th century AD), comprising urban centers of the Neolithic and Bronze ages, as well as substantial occupation during later periods."
The location has also been known for its Canaanite history and Biblical significance in the Judeo-Christian era which later was part of the Islamic culture it coexisted with until this day.
A member of the Likud party Dan Illouz claimed that "[Ariha] is first and foremost a city of biblical significance," denying its 10,000 years of history, and urging UNESCO President Audrey Azoulay to reject the Palestinian Authority's bid for recognition as "archaeologically false".
The Israeli official then, without significant proof, alleged that this was "not only an insult to Jews but also an insult to Christians around the world who admire the site for its biblical history."
Israeli media reveal that squads from the Israeli Ministry of Security hid historical documents related to the Israeli nuclear project and evidence of mass killings and destruction of villages during the #Nakba.#Palestine pic.twitter.com/fqImDMWGSE— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) August 24, 2022
Illouz blatantly accused the Palestinian Authority of actively attempting to "erase all ties of the Jewish people to the Land," claiming they have engaged in acts of vandalism and deliberate destruction of what they deem biblical evidence, failing to make any mention of Israeli occupation seizing Palestinian land, culture, houses, and wealth and killing and murdering Palestinians since 1948 on.
What "Israel" attempted to argue has been that the Biblical significance of Ancient Ariha denied the city its Palestinian statehood as if there were no Jewish or Christian Palestinian people. "Israel" attempts to push rhetoric against Islam that serves only to shape the conflict in "Israel" as being between Jews and Islam and not between Arabs and the Occupying Israeli settlers.