Last Friday, amidst a shameful indifference by some of the most powerful Western countries, including Italy, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization chose to send a denialist message to the whole world by voting on a resolution promoted by several Arab countries (Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan), and the motion obtained a large majority of preliminary votes. Speaking of Education, the resolution denies the Jewish identity of some of Jerusalem’s sites, including the Temple Mount and the Wailing Wall, some of the most sacred sites in the Jewish religion. This has sparked what has been rightly called a “cultural Shoah on memory”. Four thousand years of history swept away by a motion that erases the thousand-year-old life of Jewish Jerusalem, and that contributes to the patter of denying the legitimacy of Israel’s existence by means of cultural subterfuge – negating its history.
As we reminded everyone on Saturday in our newspaper, only six countries voted against the motion (United States, Great Britain, Lithuania, Holland, Germany and Estonia). This newspaper hopes that Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s visit to America bodes well for Italy to rebel against this resolution, which is one of the steps in a greater and silent cultural war to delegitimize Israel. Examples of which include the decision by the EU to mark the products coming from Israeli colonies, sort of like imposing the yellow Star of David, or the choice by the EU to keep Hamas off the list of terrorist organizations. Between Monday and Tuesday of next week, the resolution will be put to a final vote, and in the coming days Il Foglio will publish our readers’ comments on this matter.
We will do much more than that. Unesco has chosen to erase the Wailing Wall from the history of Israel and of Jews, therefore for a day, Wednesday, October 19th, from 3 PM, we will turn the Unesco Rome Office (Piazza di Firenze, 27, a few steps from the Parliament) into our very own Wailing Wall. We will bring letters from Il Foglio and from our readers to explain that erasing Israel’s history is not Education, it is not Science and it is not Culture. It is simply a Cultural Shoah. Keep writing to us at firstname.lastname@example.org