StandWithUs condemns an anti-Israel resolution passed by UNESCO that effectively erases history and denies the Jewish people’s 3,000-year-old connection to their holiest sites – Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and Western Wall.
Over 3,000 years ago, the Jewish people built a thriving civilization in the land of Israel. Since then, the Babylonians, Romans, Crusaders, Mamluks, and many other empires have tried to colonize the Jews, erase their identity, and sever their connection to their homeland and holiest sites.
Once again, UNESCO has opted to perpetuate this tradition of colonial oppression by passing a dishonest resolution that ignores the 3,000-year old Jewish connection to Jerusalem. The resolution’s language refers to the Temple Mount exclusively by its Arabic name, Al-Haram Al-Sharif. It also refers to the Western Wall plaza primarily as “Al-Buraq Plaza”. Thus, UNESCO deprecates Judaism, belittles Jewish heritage, and negates 3,000 years of indigenous Jewish roots in Jerusalem.
Much of the resolution denounces the many archaeological sites in Jerusalem, where numerous finds over the decades have scientifically proven the indigeneity of the Jewish people to this region. It is precisely for this reason that the sponsors –Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, and Sudan – pushed the resolution through on behalf of the Palestinian Authority. The resolution also ignores the destruction of invaluable archaeological material on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif by Jerusalem’s Muslim authorities – an attempt to erase scientific evidence of the ancient Jewish connection to the city.
UNESCO’s mission statement declares, “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.” Today UNESCO betrayed its own mandate. Instead of constructing “the defenses of peace,” UNESCO has become a vehicle for fomenting conflict, bigotry, and injustice.
Over the centuries many colonial empires tried and failed to erase the Jewish people and their connection to their holiest city. Like them, UNESCO too shall fail.