On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.
Israel will suspend its cooperation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) following its resolution erasing the Jewish connection to Jerusalem’s holy sites, Education Minister Naftali Bennett announced Friday.
Bennett, who serves as president of Israel’s National Commission for UNESCO, said the organization, in its decision was “giving a boost to terrorism” and denying history.
All meetings with UNESCO officials, participation in international forums and professional cooperation will be suspended until further notice, the statement said.
“Yesterday’s decision is a denial of history and gives a boost to terror,” Bennett said, adding that the resolution was a prize to jihadists and to “diplomatic terror” on a week in which two Jews were murdered in a Jerusalem terror attack.
He added that such acquiescence to radical narratives should worry all of the Western world and not just Israel. “Whoever rewards jihadists…could be next,” he said.
Lawmakers from both the right and left of the political spectrum said the decision, which refers to the Temple Mount and Western Wall only by their Muslim names and condemns Israel as “the occupying power” for various actions taken in both places, was ill-befitting of UN
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the decision “absurd,” while President Reuven Rivlin called it an “embarrassment” for UNESCO. The Executive Board of UNESCO is next week set to approve the resolution, which passed Thursday at the committee stage.
Culture Minister Miri Regev slammed the resolution as “shameful and anti-Semitic,” and Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel called for Israel to increase the Jewish presence on the Temple Mount, a flashpoint site governed by a tense status quo, in response.
“To say that Israel has no link to the Temple Mount is like saying that China has no link to the Great Wall or that Egypt has no connection to the Pyramids,” Netanyahu said, adding that “with this absurd decision UNESCO has lost what little legitimacy it still had.”
Opposition chief Isaac Herzog accused UNESCO of betraying their mission. “Whoever wants to rewrite history, to distort fact, and to completely invent the fantasy that the Western Wall and Temple Mount have no connection to the Jewish people, is telling a terrible lie that only serves to increase hatred.”
UN body refers to holy site only by its Muslim names, condemns Israel for ‘aggressions’ against civilians in Jerusalem compound; Israeli officials call decision ‘anti-Semitic’
The United Nations’ cultural arm on Thursday passed a resolution ignoring Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall in a move derided in Israel as “anti-Semitic” and absurd.
The resolution, adopted at the committee stage, used only Muslim names for the Jerusalem Old City holy sites and was harshly critical of Israel for what it termed “provocative abuses that violate the sanctity and integrity” of the area.
Twenty-four countries in the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization backed the document, while six voted against and 26 abstained at a meeting in Paris. UNESCO’s executive board is expected to approve it next week.
The controversial resolution starts by affirming the “importance of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls for the three monotheistic religions,” but then goes on to accuse Israel — which it consistently calls “the occupying power” — of a long list of wrongdoings.