UNESCO passes resolution denying Jewish ties to Jerusalem holy sites
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Thursday passed a contentious anti-Israel resolution denying Jewish connections to the Temple Mount and Western Wall in Jerusalem.
24 UNESCO member states voted in favor of the resolution, 26 abstained, and only six countries voted against.
The proposal, put forth by the Palestinians, along with Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar and Sudan, condemns Israel on several issues related to Jerusalem and its holy sites.
The draft resolution, a copy of which was obtained by Ha'aretz, acknowledges that the city of Jerusalem is holy to Judaism, Islam, and Christianity but says the Temple Mount holy site is sacred only to Muslims and fails to mention its significance to Jews.
An entire section of the proposal dedicated specifically to the Temple Mount complex refers only to the site's Muslim names (Al-Aqsa Mosque and Haram al-Sharif) and fails to mention its Hebrew or English names (Har HaBayit or Temple Mount).
The resolution refers also to the Western Wall plaza by its Muslim name (al-Buraq plaza) and only mentions its Hebrew-Jewish name (Hakotel Hama'aravi) later in quotation marks.
The flashpoint complex is considered Judaism's holiest site, once the site of the first and second Temples, and is the third holiest to the Muslim faith.
Israeli politicians, led by President Reuven Rivlin, were quick to condemn the vote on Thursday, slamming the resolution even before the vote had taken place in Paris.
“No forum or body in the world can come and deny the connection between the Jewish people, the Land of Israel and Jerusalem – and any such body that does so simply embarrasses itself,” he said at an event in his Jerusalem residence. “We can understand criticism, but you cannot change history.”
Agricultrure Minister Uri Ariel sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling on him to act by encouraging nations to end funding for the UN.
“We in the government in general, and you as the foreign minister, should demand that the nations of the world condemn these anti-Semitic decisions, and immediately stop funding the UN,” he wrote.
He also called for the government to “strengthen the Temple Mount, and to to increase the control and Jewish presence in the holiest place for Jews — the Temple Mount.”
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog said UNESCO is giving a “bad name to diplomacy.”
“Whoever wants to rewrite history, to distort fact, and to completely invent the fantasy that the Western Wall and Temple Mount have no connection to the Jewish people, is telling a terrible lie that only serves to increase hatred,” he said. “On this matter there is no disagreement among the people of Israel, and I urge UNESCO to withdraw this bizarre resolution and to engage in protecting, not distorting, human history.”
UNESCO passed a similar resolution in April referring to the Temple Mount soley as Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Western Wall as the Al-Buraq Plaza drawing harsh condemnations from Israel.
France was among the 33 countries that backed the resolution in the 58-member body causing a diplomatic spat which resulted in French President Francois Hollande pledging that France would not support such measures in the future.
Israeli diplomats have over recent weeks attempted to convince UNESCO member states to oppose or at least abstain during the vote.
Israel's foreign ministry published a brochure featuring archaeological findings providing evidence of Jewish connections to Jerusalem generally and specifically to the Temple Mount complex.
In a letter submitted to UNESCO's executive board, Israel's ambassador to the world cultural organization wrote that, without undermining other religions' ties to Jerusalem's holy sites, the archaeological findings "leave no doubt…of the deepest and longest Jewish presence in Jerusalem since ancient times," according to Ha'aretz.
He wrote that the initiative challenging the Jewish people's ties to Jerusalem "is an attempt to rewrite history in a dangerous, unfair and one-sided manner."
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Yeah yeah Michael, you never condemn violence against Israeli civilians. Please also explain where ANY conventions refer to "indirectly" moving citizens? The Geneva Conventions explicitly terms it as "forcibly transfer its own population". There you go again making stuff up.
"What about these jewish civilian deaths Mickey muslim? All carried out by muslim terrorists on jewish citizens on the streets of the jewish state of Israel" You've been told umpteen times I condemn attacks on civilians, whether by Israel or the Palestinians. Most are NOT carried out in Israel ... they are carried out in the West Bank ... their occupied land!
"Notwithstanding that you continue to ignore Palestinian violations and violence."? I've condemned their violence against civilians.
Dick is short for Richard.
"not one comment about the UNESCO vote...I wonder why????" But I did comment. Pay attention, Dick.
"Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and has been for over 3500 years." United Nations Resolution 181 with Jerusalem being established as a corpus separatum was ACCEPTED by Israel in 1947, therefore it's NOT Israel's capital.
"The conventions that do not apply to Israel because Israel is dealing with terrorists."? The conventions DO apply in the case of moving(directly or indirectly) its own citizens into territory that it occupies, Dick.
Change the status quo?? That's just Arab incitement trying to whip up international pity on something that's not even happening! But well done again for avoiding the question by conflating totally separate issues. Notwithstanding that you continue to ignore Palestinian violations and violence.
Neil, it's as mystifying as why Israel has escaped sanctions these past decades over its flouting of conventions and the many Palestinian civilian deaths. Perhaps they thought that an Israeli pleasing verdict would embolden them to move to change 'the status quo'.
i24 should stop refering to Jerusalem as Islam's 3rd holiest city. That is very disputed. According to Professor Daniel Pipes Jerusalem only becomes important when someone else holds it. Repeating the 3rd most important myth only establishes it as true by repetition. It is like the 'Gaza is the most densely populated in the world' myth - constantly refuted, yet treated as if is a undisputed fact with unavoidable violent consequences. Consider this: 1) Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Quran and there are no obligations towards it, unlike Mecca and Medina, 2) No Muslim head of state considered it important enough to visit during the 19 years it was held by Jordan, 3) Even though Israel has peace with Egypt and Jordan and travel is possible with some other Arab countries such as Morocco; full relations with the Muslim former republics of the USSR and countries with major Muslim populations, such as India, few visit Jerusalem, 4) Shiite Muslims have other holy cities such as Qom that they do make pilgrimage centres.
" I have actaully had to correct Mickey muslim several times over his spelling" :-)
RichardtheLionheart One important fact you missed was that the early Muslims DID actually pray towards Jerusalem when they were living with Jews in Yathrib (modern day Medina). This shows that 1)- the diaspora of Jews remained connected to Jerusalem almost 600 years after the destruction of the Second Temple and 2)- Muhammad recognized Jerusalem as a holy place for Jews and a symbol of a monotheistic faith. (Also, stop calling people "Mickey Muslim". Infantile).
Here are 20 conveniently overlooked facts that give some perspective to the current Middle East situation. These were compiled by a Christian university professor..... Takes just 1.5 minutes to read!!! 1. Israel became a nation in 1312 B.C.E., two thousand years before the rise of Islam. 2. Arab refugees began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel. 3. Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 B.C.E, the Jews had dominion over the land for one thousand years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years. 4.The only Arab domination since the conquest in 635 C.E. lasted no more than 22 years. 5. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem, they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit. 6. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 hundred times in Bible. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran. 7. King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem. 8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray with their backs toward Jerusalem. 9. Arab and Jewish refugees: Arabs were not driven out of their homes. Following the UN decision on Partition in 1948, the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders, promising to purge the land of Jews. They argued that an "Arab presence" would only get in the way of the planned devastation. Sixty-eight percent left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier. 10. The Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab brutality, persecution and pogroms. 11. The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is estimated to be around 630,000. The number of Jewish refugees absorbed by Israel from Arab countries is estimated to be the same. 12. Arab refugees were INTENTIONALLY not absorbed or integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory. Out of the 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, theirs is the only refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own peoples'lands. Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel, a country no larger than the state of New Jersey. 13. The Arabs are represented by eight separate nations, not including the Palestinians. There is only one Jewish nation. The Arab nations initiated all five wars and lost. Israel defended itself each time and won. 14. The P.L.O.'s Charter still calls for the destruction of the state of Israel. Israel has given the Palestinians most of the West Bank and autonomy under the Palestinian Authority, and has supplied their police and security forces with weapons. 15. Under Jordanian rule, Jewish holy sites were desecrated and the Jews were denied access to places of worship. Jewish grave markers were used to build public urinals in occupied Jerusalem. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made accessible to people of all faiths. 16. The U.N. record on Israel and the Arabs of the 175 Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel -- notwithstanding the fact that the Arabs refused to participate in the 15 nation United Nations Commission of Palestine which recommended partition in 1948 and sought immediately to undo its work by force of arms. 17. Of the 690 General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel. 18. The U.N. was silent while 58 Jerusalem Synagogues were destroyed by the Jordanians between 1948 and 1967. 19. The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives between 1948 and 1967. 20. The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall between 1948 and 1967.
The vote Michael, not the reaction.
The tantrum amused, Neil.
Michael, apart from making fun of people's spelling, what are your thoughts on this UNESCO vote?
An anti-Semitic decision. No other heritage site is challenged in this thoroughly deceitful manner. As a black woman, I am especially incensed to see African countries joining the "Against" vote. A century ago, white Europeans were masquerading behind pseudo-science and pseudo-history to deny African cultural and historical heritage sites. And now these countries vote to erase Jews from history?! This move is about de-legitimizing Jewish existence altogether. They can't have a land, they can't have a history, they can't have cultural sites of importance. How is this not anti-Semitism, racism? Disgusted.
"Close all entry to the golden pimple on to of the Temple Mount. Give UNESCO 1 month to reverse this disgusting, anti-Semitic decision or blow that monument to the rapist, pedo goat lover to smithereens." Ah, an armchair warrior .... stick to your playstation, Issy.
"As for Israel, they need to draw the lines of a border OR move every Arab out and into Jordon." Are you throwing a tantrum, Martyz? p.s. where's Jordon?
Tell Jordan that when daesh come for them, instead of protecting Jordan. Israel will simple watch.
End all cooperation with all UN agencies. Throw them out of Gaza, Judea and Samaria. Close all Palestinians crossings for the foreseeable future. End all Palestinians entry to Israel fir the foreseeable future. Close all entry to the golden pimple on to of the Temple Mount. Give UNESCO 1 month to reverse this disgusting, anti-Semitic decision or blow that monument to the rapist, pedo goat lover to smithereens.
Regardless of the religion they are taught that Jews killed their god. This is as any thinking brain knows total and complete fantasy since there is zero proof he or any god ever existed and on top of that to condemn a whole people for what they think they know shows just how ignorant and just how sick with fear and stupidity these people are. As for Israel, they need to draw the lines of a border OR move every Arab out and into Jordon.
Disgraceful!! Beyond words
Every time the UN or any of its agencies pass such blatantly anti-Jewish/Zionist/Israel resolutions, Israel should build homes for 100 Jewish families in East Jerusalem. This line in the sand cannot be crossed and contempt shown to the perpetrators. Whatever the cost we will not surrender our proven historic rights but will happily share them. Russia is not an instigator but a force for order in a disorderly world, so don't bring them into the discussion.