Brazil’s Foreign Minister Jose Serra intends to change Brazil’s anti-Israel vote given in April at a United Nations session, where rights for cultural assets in the areas conquered in the Six-Day War were discussed, Brazilian media reported.
Serra was tapped by new acting president Michel Temer.
The text of the resolution passed at the 199th session of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, does not recognize a Jewish connection to the Western Wall and the Temple Mount and calls Israel an “occupying power.” It was approved with 33 votes in favor, including Brazil’s. There were 17 abstentions. France also reportedly has decided to change its vote.
“In practical terms, it (the resolution) was more a pretext for the Arab world to disseminate hatred against Israel,” read a statement from the Brazilian Israelite Confederation, the country’s umbrella Jewish organization.
Although Latin America’s largest nation’s new vote is not enough to change the resolution, the move shows good will to change the acid relationship with Israel fostered by leftist President Dilma Rousseff, who is currently suspended by Congress in the midst of an impeachment process.
“The fact that the decision does not make express reference to the historical ties of the Jewish people to Jerusalem, particularly the Western Wall, the holiest shrine in Judaism, is an error, which makes the text partial and unbalanced,” read the Brazilian Foreign Ministry’s statement issued last week.