The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) passed a resolution today (October 13, 2016) denying the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. The resolution 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. 24 UNESCO member states voted in favor of the resolution, 26 abstained (including France which supported a similar resolution in April) — with only six countries voting against it (US, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Lithuania and Estonia).
While today’s UNESCO resolution acknowledges that the city of Jerusalem is holy to Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, it refers to the Temple Mount only as being sacred to Muslims – ignoring its significance to Jews.
The resolution refers to the Temple Mount only by the site’s Muslim names (al-Aqsa Mosque / al-Haram al Sharif and omits any mention of its Hebrew or English names (Har HaBayit or Temple Mount). As well, the resolution refers to the Western Wall (the outer wall of the Second Temple) as al-Buraq Plaza – only mentioning its Hebrew name (Hakotel Hama’aravi) later in quotation marks.
The Temple Mount is considered Judaism’s holiest site as it was once the site of both the First Temple (Solomon’s Temple) and Second Temple (built by Zerubbabel upon return of the Jewish exiles from Babylon). The complex, on which the al-aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock Mosque were later built is only considered the third holiest site to Muslims.
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu said that UNESCO’s resolution nullifying Jewish ties to Temple Mount is like saying that China has no connection to the Great Wall or that Egypt has no connection to the pyramids.
“To say that Israel has no connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall is like saying that China has no connection to the Great Wall of China and that Egypt has no connection to the pyramids. With this absurd decision, UNESCO lost the little legitimization it had left.”
Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister
To deny Israel’s and the Jewish people’s connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall requires
(1) ignoring abundant archaeological evidence
(2) ignoring written history – both from secular sources (e.g. Josephus) and Biblical sources.
and even ignoring
(3) the Supreme Muslim Council which oversaw the Temple Mount (1924 – 1960).
“A brief Guide to Al-Haram Al-Sharif – Jerusalem” was published by the Supreme Muslim Council, headed by Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and was available for purchase by visitors to the Temple Mount and from its first edition published in 1924 until 1953.
The booklet made three irrefutable references to Solomon’s Temple (the First Temple) having stood on the Temple Mount (see below).
In 1954, the content of the booklet was revised, with references to Solomon’s Temple removed and replaced with references to Herod’s Temple (the Second Temple), instead. In any case, the Supreme Muslim Council affirmed in their publication “A brief Guide to Al-Haram Al-Sharif – Jerusalem”, widely available between 1924 and 1960, that the Temple Mount was the site of the Jewish Temples.
Page 4 of the 1924-1953 guide:
“The site is one of the oldest in the world. Its sanctity dates from the earliest times. Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to universal belief, on which David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.“
Page 10 of the 1924-1953 guide:
“On the east side of the Dome of the Rock, facing the Bab Daub or gate of David, stands an elegant little edifice, also surmounted by a dome, which look at first sight like a miniature representation of its larger brother…The edifice is variously known as Mahkamat Daud (i.e. Tribunal of David)…it was the practice in Solomon’s time to appeal in cases of conflicting evidence.“
Page 16 of the 1924-1953 guide:
“In the west wall of the chamber, a door opens into a staircase descending to Solomon’s Stables. This is a vast subterranean chamber, of roughly rectangular shape, of which the chief feature is the imposing size of the piers. Of these, there are fifteen rows of varying size and height supporting the vaults on which rests the roof. Little is known for certain of the early history of the chamber itself. It dates probably as far back as the construction of Solomon’s Temple. According to Josephus, it was in existence and was used as a place of refuge by the Jews at the time of the conquest of Jerusalem by Titus in the year 70 A.D.”
[for more information see http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/08/19/supreme-muslim-authority-contradicts-palestinian-authoritys-claims/]
Fact and Fiction
- UNESCO’s denial of historical fact does not change history.
- UNESCO’s resolution does not change that fact that the First Temple, (Solomon’s Temple) stood on the Temple Mount from when it was completed in 827 BCE until it was destroyed by the Babylonians 470 years later.
- UNESCO’s resolution does not change that fact that the Second Temple, constructed under Zerubbabel was completed in 349 BCE and stood on the Temple Mount until it was destroyed in 70 CE by the Romans.
- UNESCO’s resolution does not change that fact that prior to the arrival of the Romans, the Jews enjoyed political independence and self-rule under for ~80 years under the Hasmonean (Maccabean) Dynasty, beginning in ~167 BCE.
- UNESCO’s resolution does not change the fact that the first time an Arab government ruled in that region was in the sixth century CE; 700 years after the Hasmonean Dynasty.
- UNESCO’s resolution does not change the fact that the Dome of the Rock Mosque was only built on the Temple Mount in 691 CE and the al-Aqsa Mosque was only built ~20 years later.
- UNESCO’s resolution does not change the fact that the Jewish people built the First Temple on the Temple Mount almost 1500 years before the Arabs first arrived in Jerusalem!
[for more information, please see: http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/05/05/is-the-temple-mount-really-islams-3rd-holiest-site/ from more information]
IMPORTANT UPDATE (October 18 2016): UNESCO Adopts ‘Occupied Palestine’ Resolution – find out about Mexico and Brazil’s new position on future anti-Israel resolutions, as well as Palestinian’s demands concerning archaeological sites: http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/10/18/unesco-adopts-occupied-palestine-resolution/