(Staff) On Oct.13th, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) voted to accept a motion that effectively erases any Jewish or Christian connection to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and Western Wall, by referring to these sites solely by their Arabic names. Seven Arab states sponsored the resolution.
Part of UNESCO’s mandate is to promote “intercultural understanding” and the protection of “word heritage” sites of universal value. Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova distanced herself from the motion stating that “to deny, conceal or erase any of the Jewish, Christian or Muslim traditions undermines the integrity of the site.”
Shimon Koffler Fogel wrote in the National Post that the resolution is an effort “to redefine Jerusalem, not as a place holy to the world’s three major monotheistic faiths, but as the sole domain of Islam – a religion born about 15 centuries after the construction of the first Jewish Temple on that site. Three thousand years of independent archeological and documentary evidence confirming the Jewish character of the Temple Mount were, in a single Orwellian vote, dismissed by the UN agency that claims to advance education, science and culture.”
Islam was founded in the seventh century.
Fogel is the CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs. He continued: “In attempting to re-brand the Temple Mount and Western Wall as exclusively Islamic sites, the authors of this resolution are negating the history of Christianity, no less than that of Judaism.”
He noted that “While it was reprehensible for countries like France to abstain from the UNESCO vote, it is utterly incomprehensible for religious leaders throughout the Christian world not to react with the sharpest criticism.”
At press time, neither Pope Francis nor the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, had criticized the motion. TAP