On Independence Day UNESCO declares Israel has no connection to Jerusalem

If there remained any doubt of the anti-Israel bias of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), today that doubt has been dispelled in the passing of the “resolution on Occupied Palestine“.

UNESCO voted today (Tuesday May 2 2017), on Israel Independence Day (Yom HaAtzmaut) – the holiday commemorating 69 years since the re-birth of the state of Israel, to pass a resolution declaring that Israel has no legal or historical right to any part of Jerusalem. It also declares that the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, where the Jewish Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are buried are “Palestinian sites”, as is Rachel’s Tomb near Bethlehem.

The resolution on “Occupied Palestine” was submitted to UNESCO by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan and refers to Israel throughout the document as the “occupying power” in Jerusalem – and by doing so, indicates that Israel has no historical connection or right to any part of Jerusalem.

In passing this resolution, UNESCO ignores the archaeological evidence 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. It also ignores the archaeological evidence that the Second Temple, constructed under Zerubbabel and that was completed in 349 BCE  stood on the Temple Mount until it was destroyed in 70 CE by the Romans.

UNESCO’s resolution ignores the fact that the first time an Arab government ruled in that region was in the sixth century CE700 years after the (Jewish) Hasmonean Dynasty ruled. Putting Israel’s ties to the Temple Mount into context, the Jewish people built the First Temple on the Temple Mount almost 1500 years before the Arabs first arrived in Jerusalem!

Despite these facts, today 22 countries voted in favour of the “Occupied Palestine” resolution – denying Israel’s historical connection to Jerusalem, 23 countries abstained and only 10 countries stood on the side of objective, historical archaeological evidence; the US, UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Greece, Paraguay, Ukraine, Togo, and Germany.

What “educational” or “scientific” facts did the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) uphold in passing this resolution?

 

UNESCO Adopts ‘Occupied Palestine’ Resolution

Following Mexico’s withdrawal of its intention yesterday to force a re-vote one day before the close of proceedings, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has adopted its controversial “Occupied PalestineResolution (Tuesday, October 18 2016).

Under pressure from Western states, Mexico backed away from its initial intention to call for a re-vote, after having taken issue with the resolution referring to Jerusalem holy sites only by their Islamic names. Western states were concerned that Mexico taking such action could lead to future calls for re-votes on future resolutions already voted on and passed by consensus. Instead, Mexico noted for the record that its position on the matter was one of abstention, but its revised position does not change the vote’s count.

Mexico’s Foreign Ministry posted a statement on its web site that it had abstained in recognition of the “undeniable Jewish cultural heritage that is located in east Jerusalem.

In a surprising move today, Brazil spoke at the final board session, indicating that it was unlikely to support such resolutions in the future.

After ratification of the resolution, the Jerusalem Post reports that Israel’s Ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-Hacohen said:

“We have moved forward a step-and-a-half toward dismantling the automatic majority that the Palestinians and the Arab states have against Israel.

The best surprise of the morning is Brazil’s notification that while it did not change its vote this time, it will find it difficult not to do, if there is a resolution with another text that disregards the Jewish people’s connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.”

UNESCO’s Denial of the Jewish Connection to the Temple Mount

The “Occupied PalestineResolution is the latest of such measures taken by UNESCO – where Israel and its allies are far outnumbered by Arab countries and their supporters, and a body that admitted the ‘Palestinians’ as members in 2011.

This latest resolution was put forth by the ‘Palestinians‘, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar and Sudan and was passed with 24 votes in favour, six against and 26 abstentions. It follows close on the heels of a similar one passed by UNESCO April 16 2016, which condemned “Israeli aggressions and illegal measures against the freedom of worship and Muslim access to the al-Aqsa Mosque” and which referred to the Temple Mount site by only its Arabic names.

Like the UNESCO resolution passed in April, the “Occupied PalestineResolution also refers to the Temple Mount site only by the site’s Muslim name, al-Haram al Sharif (Arabic for “the Noble Sanctuary”) and to the Western Wall (the remaining outer wall of the Second Temple) only as al-Buraq Plaza and by doing so, effectively denies the Jewish connection to both the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.

Last Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu said;

“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.”

‘Palestinian Demands’

Today, ‘Palestinians’ deputy ambassador to UNESCO, Mounir Anastas told Al-Jazeera that the resolution;

“reminds Israel that they are the occupying power in East Jerusalem and it asks them to stop all their violations, including archaeological excavations around religious sites.

The ‘Palestinians’ want excavations halted outside Temple Mount  complex, where monumental structures including the city gate, towers and part of the city wall of Jerusalem built by King Solomon during the 10th century BC have been uncovered.

[For more on this important archaeological dig, please see: http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/05/21/king-solomons-wall-discovered-outside-2nd-temple-wall/]

Historic Facts and Dates

The Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site is where the First and Second Jewish Temples once stood, and is located in the Old City section of Jerusalem, the Capital of Israel.

The First Temple (also called Solomon’s Temple) stood on the Temple Mount from 827 BC until it was destroyed by the Babylonians 470 years later. The Second Temple stood on the Temple Mount from 349 BC, until it was destroyed in 70 AD by the Romans. Prior to the arrival of the Romans, the Jewish people were politically independent and were governed by self-rule for ~80 years under the Hasmonean (Maccabean) Dynasty, beginning in ~167 BCE.

The first time an Arab government ruled in Jerusalem was in the sixth century AD with the rise of Islam, ~700 years after the Hasmonean Dynasty.

The Temple Mount complex (called ‘al-Haram al Sharif’, in Arabic) is considered the third holiest in Islam, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. The golden topped Dome of the Rock mosque was built in 691 CE, with the smaller al-Aqsa mosque built ~20 years later. 

The Jewish Temples stood on the Temple Mount ~1500 years before the Arabs first arrived in Jerusalem in the 6th century AD with the advent of Islam.

Final Thoughts…

UNESCO’s “Occupied PalestineResolution denies history, but does not change history.

 

 

Vote on UNESCO’s Temple Mount Resolution to be Reopened?

UNESCO’s executive board may now be required to reopen voting on last week’s controversial resolution which effectively denied the Jewish connection to both the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, as the Mexican government now seeks to change its vote.

Last week, Mexico voted in favor of the resolution, but is seeking to trigger a special clause requiring a re-vote in order to change its decision.  A senior official in Jerusalem said Mexico’s changed position can mainly be attributed to the strong protests from Mexico’s Jewish community. Senior officials in the Jewish community said that Mexican President Ennrique Pena Nieto promised them, as well as Israeli government officials, during his visit to Israel for former President Shimon Peres’ funeral that Mexico would not support the UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem. However, last week Mexico’s Ambassador to UNESCO, Andreas Roemer‎ received a directive from Mexico’s Foreign Ministry to vote in favor, which he did.

Mexico’s dramatic decision would require that UNESCO hold a new vote on the Jerusalem resolution, which will be held at 11 A.M. on Tuesday.

Even though a new vote would be expected to be approved by a large majority, it may still allow countries to revisit their vote.

Israel hopes that other states besides Mexico will move to vote against the resolution.


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/

UNESCO denies Jewish connection to Temple Mount again

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

[see http://www.morehasbara.com/2016/05/21/king-solomons-wall-discovered-outside-2nd-temple-wall/]

(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 CE700 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/