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.
“The next terrorist will feel legitimized by yesterday’s miserable decision,” he added. “Cutting Jerusalem off from Israel will produce a domino effect that will eventually hurt the entire Western world.”
The minister will meet in the coming weeks with fellow Commission members to discuss further actions.
Israel reacted furiously to the UN resolution, with some accusing the UN’s cultural arm of anti-Semitism on Thursday.
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.”
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said he was “outraged” over the decision “which denies thousands of years of Jewish connection to Jerusalem’s Western Wall.”
“Would UNESCO vote to deny the Christian connection to the Vatican? Or the Muslim connection to Mecca,” he said in a statement.
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.”
Fellow Labor Party lawmaker Eitan Cabel called it “anti-Zionist, shameful and embarrassing.”
“You can try and throw the innumerable testimonies (of a Jewish connection) into the trash, the evidence, the prayers and the archaeological discoveries. You can try and throw into the sea the millions of Jews who have touched this place with their hands and hearts,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “It won’t help you.”
The left-wing Emek Shaveh organization, which says it seeks for archaeology to be decoupled from politics, said the resolution would only make a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict more difficult.
“Now that an international, professional entity like UNESCO has disregarded the deep relationship of the Jewish people to the Western Wall and the Temple Mount, they’ve only made it easier for the Israeli right to convince the Israeli public that Jerusalem is in danger,” the group said in a statement.
Rivlin, speaking at an event before the vote, said UNESCO was making a mockery of itself with the vote.
“No forum or body in the world can come and deny the connection between the Jewish people, the Land of Israel and Jerusalem – and any such body that does so simply embarrasses itself,” Rivlin said at an event in his Jerusalem residence. “We can understand criticism, but you cannot change history.”
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.
The text “firmly deplores the continuous storming” of the Al-Aqṣa Mosque/Al-Ḥaram AlSharif — Muslim names for the Temple Mount compound and the mosque located there — “by Israeli right-wing extremists and uniformed forces.”
It also decries Israeli works in the Western Wall Plaza, which it terms the al-Burak plaza after the Muslim name for the site.
I am very upset about this unesco declaration concerning Jerusalem. I wish there was some way we could voice our concern/outrage to them, but they are pretty well concealed/insulated from accountability. Unless someone knows a way. It's just mind boggling what they have done, and is just another indication of how off kilter the world has gotten, and the need to put reason, sanity, truth back in power.
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