The Unesco World Heritage Committee is about to do what even in the annals of the UN is unprecedented. It is going to vote on a Palestinian-Jordanian resolution bluntly stating that the Old City of Jerusalem and Temple mount have no historic ties to the Jews, and calling for a return to the old ‘’historic status quo’’ in the holy site. REALLY? The UN decides on holy places of religions? Did the UN ever even contemplate about holy places of Muslims, Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, Sikhs, Rastafarians? [and pardon me if I forgot anyone...]. It is only against Jews that something like that is in motion. This is what can be called anti-semitism, pure and simple. An attempted cultural/religious genocide against Jews and their history and religion. It is to be hoped, that the 21-member committee will evade this atrocity, but the hope for this happening are slim at best. There is an automatic majority against Israel in Unesco, and in the UN altogether. Some background is needed here, something which will highlight the ‘’historic status quo’’ they are talking about ?
First, history, but since when? It is an historic fact, that the SECOND Jewish Temple was destroyed by the Romans in the year 70 A.D., after an heroic Jewish struggle, and this happened 600 years before the Islamic occupation of Jerusalem. The FIRST Jewish Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians at 586 B.C, 1200 years before the occupation of Jerusalem by the Muslims. You want history, well, here is a piece of it — what happened between 1948 to 1967, the years of the illegal Jordanian occupation of the Old City of Jerusalem, leading to an annexation of Jerusalem and the West Bank by Jordan, on 24 April 1950, which was never recognized by any international organ. Jews were the only ones forbidden by the Jordanian occupiers from exercising their thousands years long right to pray at the Wailing Wall and Temple Mount. Christians and Muslims were allowed to pray there. Needless to say, under this ‘’historic’’ Jordanian status quo, there was an ethnic cleansing of Jews from the Old City , and ALL the synagogues were razed to the ground.
So, this is the status quo that the UN wants to return to. Wishful thinking on their part, it will not happen.
Then there is another context, the political one. For the Palestinians to negate any Jewish tie to Jerusalem is obvious. Were they to acknowledge it, then the entire argument about them being the indigenous population is nonsensical.
The Muslim Mayor of Jerusalem, Yusuf Al-Khalidi did acknowledge exactly that in 1891. Much has changed since then, so the official position of the Palestinian Authority [PA] under Chairman Abbas is that the original Jewish Temple was built by King Solomon, 3000 years ago, and Solomon was a Muslim [1400 years before the Prophet Muhammad. Go figure]. But Jordan? Some blunt truth should be addressed to the Hashimite Kingdom of Jordan; For you to initiate this atrocious resolution is stupid politically, short-sighted and eventually very dangerous.
The last thing that anyone needs these days, that is to say, reasonable and far-sighted people, is to ignite a religious fire over Temple Mount. The Hashimites should remember history, not least the history of the tacit but so effective actual Israeli guarantee for Jordan’s independence. They should also remember their disgraceful expulsion from Mecca in 1924 by the Saudis. They should remember it all, because they may arouse currently sleeping dogs.
Those who will remind them that Jordan could become Palestine, those who will remind them that those who want to remove one religious group from its holy places, can themselves be removed from these very holy places.
All this is bad. Who needs this madness right now? What useful purpose does it serve? Can we expect reason to prevail in the excruciating heat of July in the Middle East?. Jerusalem is a powder keg, and there are rights there to Muslims and Christians. Taking Jewish rights away is therefore unacceptable.
This is the mildest way I can put it. Many others will define it in much stronger terms and may act accordingly.