Relations between Israel and UNESCO have reached a new low following the organization's inauguration of a Chair in Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Sciences at the Islamic University of Gaza, which Israel identifies with Hamas.A quick perusal of the IUG website shows that it is essentially an arm of Hamas. There are dozens of documents praising Hamas - and none criticizing it. (MOst of them are Word documents, but here's an auto-translated page from a faculty member.)
Palestine's acceptance caused the United States to cut off its funding to the agency.
After holding heated discussions with UNESCO officials on Wednesday, the Israeli ambassador to the agency, Nimrod Barkan, will submit a formal letter of protest on Thursday.
A senior Foreign Ministry source said the Israeli Embassy to UNESCO received a press release from the organization a few days ago saying UNESCO was sponsoring a chair at the Islamic University of Gaza. The chair is seen as a stamp of approval from the international body, implying recognition in the university's importance as an academic institution.
The move angered Jerusalem, especially because the university has served for years as a political hub for Hamas support. Israeli officials said numerous Hamas engineers have been trained at the university to manufacture explosive charges and rockets.
During Operation Cast Lead, in the winter of 2008-2009, the Israel Air Force bombed one of the university's wings, in which Israel said laboratories for rocket and bomb production were located.
Israel was especially furious that the first Palestinian university UNESCO chose to cooperate with was the IUG, rather than other universities in the Palestinian Authority, such as Al-Quds or Birzeit.
Barkan spoke to officials responsible for the Middle East in UNESCO's secretariat on Wednesday. "This is an institution that assists terror and has been involved in terror in the past," he said. "We don't think it was proper to give a chair with such lack of caution, without even checking the institution first."
Moreover, the IUG has numerous papers that espouse pure anti-semitism. I found this (poorly translated) English abstract in an Arabic paper put out by the university:
Quran highlighted the many characteristics of the Jews in order to warn the world of them and especially the Arab world and Muslim peoples and leaders, and the research will be remembered most important of these qualities that have had a negative impact on the formation of ideology and mentality, the thought of the Jews perverted, it is these qualities disbelief in Allah and His signs, deception, and hardening of the heart, cunning, and cunning, treachery, betrayal and bloodshed love of this world and hatred of death and eating people's wealth unlawfully, those qualities that are reflected on the behavior of individuals and groups, making them commit the crime of crimes, what on earth who has not committed, because these people do not know the meaning of humanity, so this research to reveal those qualities andBut don't take my word for it that IUG is a terror front. Listen to what the PA said about it in 2007:
those evil intentions and reveal their risk the entire world and especially the .Islamic world and the Arab world and to take heed of these and reconsider
Kidnapped soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit spent most of his time in captivity imprisoned on the campus of the Islamic University in Gaza, said senior Palestinian sources on Monday.
The Islamic University is under complete Hamas control, with faculty members and students alike all loyal to the organization.
Palestinian officials have labeled the university a "sanctuary for wanted men" and they note that Hamas mastermind Yahya Ayyash fled from the West Bank to Gaza in 1995 and hid in the Islamic University for several months during the time he was being pursued by Israeli forces for his role in numerous suicide bombings in the 90's.
Ayyash and other wanted Hamas members took advantage of the fact that none but Hamas loyalists set foot in the university.
That changed last Thursday when troops from Fatah's Force 17 raided the university campus, confiscating some 2,000 AK-47 assault rifles, hundreds of RPG launchers and massive amounts of ammunition.
Fatah troops also uncovered a tunnel opening leading all the way to the Palestinian Police headquarters in Gaza City. Estimates suggest Hamas had intended to fill the tunnel with explosives and destroy the police building.
Hamas also recruited suicide bombers on the IUG campus.
For UNESCO to specifically choose a Hamas-affiliated, terrorist-hub, anti-semitism spouting university as the first one to be honored after admitting "Palestine" as a member shows exactly how UNESCO has no interest in culture or science, and how much it is now in bed with terrorists and their supporters.