GENEVA— UN Watch is calling Mexico’s ambassador to UNESCO—now facing possible dismissal—a “diplomatic hero.”
“In the dark tale of UNESCO’s despicable resolution last week,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer, “there is one hero.”
“When the Palestinians teamed up with genocidal Sudan and other dictatorships to get the world body on education, science and culture to corrupt itself and vote effectively to erase Jewish ties to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and Western Wall, one man made a bold act that may now end his career. Meet Andrés Roemer, UN Watch’s diplomatic hero of the year.”
BY HILLEL NEUER,
Executive Director of UN Watch – Andrés Roemer Slomianski, Mexico’s newly-arrived ambassador to UNESCO in Paris, is not only a diplomat, political analyst, attorney, economist, think tank founder, and author of 16 books and two award-winning plays.
He is also a hero.
When it came time last Thursday, Oct. 6. for 58 country representatives on the UNESCO executive board to vote on an Arab-drafted resolution that effectively denied Jewish ties to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and the Western Wall—by using Islamic terms only for Judaism’s holiest sites—Mexico was one of only 24 states that voted for the pernicious text. (Full UN Watch analysis here.)
Yet Ambassador Roemer, who is Jewish, had already walked out of the hall. Out of conscience, he could not bring himself to carry out his government’s instructions and support the outrageous resolution; one of his deputies had to cast the vote instead.
Mexico’s foreign ministry has now summoned the 52-year-old Roemer back to Mexico City “for consultations.”
Roemer said he thought about quitting, but after consultation with ambassadors from other countries, decided to stay in office.
Yet according to Carmel Shama-HaCohen, the Israeli ambassador to UNESCO who strongly praised Roemer, the Mexican diplomat is now at risk of being “sent home and fired.”
In a Facebook post, the Israeli envoy posted a photo of the two diplomats standing together in the Israeli embassy’s sukkah, a Jewish hut that is constructed to celebrate the current week-long festival of Sukkot.
The following is the comment by Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO, translated from the original Hebrew:
“Andreas is an ambassador who just arrived in Paris this summer and it’s possible that his conscience-based decision will result in him being sent home and fired. In any case, we wish him a happy holiday—and bravo for his courage.”
Shamma-HaCohen had previously thanked Roemer for his stance in a letter sent on Friday, the day after the vote, urging him not to resign
In the letter, a copy of which was obtained by UN Watch, Shama-HaCohen wrote that he found it “personally moving” to see Roemer “leave the room during the vote in order to actively avoid the vote against your conscience.”
HaCohen wrote: “I would like to express my deepest appreciation to your assistance in advice and insight. Your presence as a friend is highly appreciated and welcomed. I am looking forward to continue working together with you in the future.
“Moreover, I found your consideration to resign from your post as pre-matured and rushed [sic]. I am sure that you will be a great asset to Mexico and a friend to Israel.”
Mexico City tries to impugn Roemer
In an odd twist, sources from Mexico’s foreign ministry, quoted in a report in the newspaper Reforma y El Norte, are apparently trying to scapegoat Ambassador Roemer for Mexico’s outrageous vote for the UNESCO resolution.
The Mexico City sources claimed that Roemer voted “without consulting the undersecretary for multilateral affairs and human rights, and without realizing that countries like France, Spain and Argentina would change their traditional position and abstain.”
All of this is proved completely false by a leaked e-mail, published by Enlace Judío, which spells out the Mexican foreign ministry’s instructions to support the text, with numerous justifications seeking to show how the text was improved since the prior April version.
UN Watch is a Geneva-based human rights organization founded in 1993 to monitor UN compliance with the principles of its Charter. It is accredited as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Special Consultative Status to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and as an Associate NGO to the UN Department of Public Information (DPI). www.unwatch.org