Tomorrow the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will consider adopting a resolution that would change the status-quo of the Temple Mount and declare the Western Wall a part of the al-Aksa Mosque compound.
Jewish Federations are bitterly disappointed that UNESCO would seek to fan the flames of religious and cultural conflict, particularly at this moment in time.
The draft resolution, submitted to UNESCO by Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, is an affront to the Jewish people and our over two millennia connection to the Western Wall and the Temple it once supported. By acknowledging the holy sites both on and around the Temple Mount solely by their Arabic names, this resolution seeks to invalidate any claim the Jewish people have to our holiest site. The result of this aggressive effort will be to heighten the already palpable religious tensions in Israel and the surrounding region.
At no point does the proposal acknowledge a Jewish association with the Wall, one which clearly dates to biblical times. Instead it ignores a Jewish connection to the site altogether. This gross attempt to erase history is unconscionable and cannot be accepted by the UNESCO Executive Board.
As the violence in Israel continues to escalate, Palestinians and too much of the international community have falsely accused Israel of changing the status quo at the Temple Mount and igniting this current wave of terror. However, it is the Palestinians – and their sponsors at UNESCO – who are working to change the status quo, not Israel. We urge the United Nations to see this for the anti-Israel attack that is it, to consider the damaging effects this change would have to Israel and the entire Middle East, to oppose the resolution and to remove it from the agenda forever.
Is it not time, past time, for the Jewish communities in North America to rally in support of Israel as the Jewish communities of France, Spain, Italy and elsewhere have done?