Thursday, October 13, 2016

Another UNESCO resolution

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: UNESCO Poised to Pass Resolution Casting Doubt on Jewish Ties to Temple Mount. Israel attempts to convince as many states as possible to oppose the resolution, but only few are swayed; Foreign Ministry issues brochure proving historic affiliation between the Jews and Jerusalem (Barak Ravid, Haaretz).
The 58 members of UNESCO are expected to vote Thursday on an anti-Israeli resolution that disregards Judaism’s historic connection to the Temple Mount and casts doubt on the link between Judaism and the Western Wall. The resolution is expected to pass by a large majority.

Israel has made efforts to block the resolution or at least soften it, but succeeded only in swaying the positions of a few member states.

The resolution proposal, which condemns Israel on several issues regarding Jerusalem and its holy sites, was advanced by the Palestinians alongside Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar and Sudan. The draft resolution, a copy of which was obtained by Haaretz, asserts that Jerusalem is holy to the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Islam and Christianity. However, it includes a special section dealing with the Temple Mount, which says the site is sacred only to Muslims and fails to mention that it is sacred to the Jews as well. In fact, it mentions neither the Hebrew term for the site – Har HaBayit – nor its English equivalent, the Temple Mount. The site is referred to only by its Muslim names – Al-Aqsa Mosque and Haram al-Sharif.

Also, the resolution calls the Western Wall plaza by the Arab-Muslim name al-Buraq plaza. Only afterward does the Hebrew-Jewish name “Hakotel Hama’aravi” appear in quotation marks.

You can read the full draft text of the resolution at the link. Much of it concerns matters on which I have limited or no information, so I will not comment on the substance. The wording does seem significantly slanted away from any recognition of a Jewish connection to the site of the Temple Mount, although this is almost entirely a matter of omission rather than assertion.

More on the previous UNESCO resolution on the subject is here and links.