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July 11, 2016 6:23 pm

Israel Slams UNESCO Over Efforts to ‘Distort History’ Ahead of Controversial Vote on Resolution That ‘Deliberately Ignores’ Historical Jewish Connection to Jerusalem, Temple Mount

avatar by Lea Speyer

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Israeli Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold. Photo: Facebook.

Israeli Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold. Photo: Facebook.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry sharply rebuked a major United Nations agency on Monday for its efforts to “distort history” ahead of a controversial vote in which the historical Jewish ties to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount will be challenged. 

In an open letter to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Director General of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dore Gold said the “completely one-sided draft resolution on the Old City of Jerusalem…deliberately ignores the historical connection between the Jewish people and their ancient capital.”

The resolution was submitted to UNESCO through a joint effort by the Palestinian Authority and Jordan. The text calls for a return to the “historic status quo” — the pre-1967 lines — of the Temple Mount and al-Aqsa Mosque, and fails to acknowledge that the highly contested site is considered Judaism’s most hallowed ground. 

Further, the resolution undercuts Israel’s ties to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount by referring to the Jewish state as an “occupying power,” and placing references to the Western Wall Plaza in quotation marks, using the Arabic name Al-Buraq Plaza instead. The resolution — which refers to the Temple Mount as an exclusive “Muslim holy site of worship” — also “fails to acknowledge Christianity’s ties to Jerusalem,” Gold wrote.

In the resolution’s text, the authors accuse Israel of “intrusive constructions, tunneling and underground excavations” and “aggressions against religious sites and prayer places.”

According to Gold, “UNESCO’s adoption of utterly false allegations about Israeli archaeological practices is misplaced and hypocritical, at best. This resolution is full of distortions and is totally disconnected from reality on the ground.”

“We urge you to oppose this effort to distort reality, which will offend the members of the Jewish and Christian faiths, and undermine the credibility of UNESCO in the future,” Gold wrote.

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee is expected to vote on the resolution during its annual meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, which began on July 10 and will run through July 20. A similar resolution was adopted by UNESCO’s executive board in April and was resoundingly rejected and criticized by Israel.  

The World Heritage Committee is made up of 21 countries, including Angola, Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Croatia, Cuba, Finland, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Tunisia, Turkey, Tanzania, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.

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  • I am now wondering how a “World” committee (UNESCO) can exist with no representation from Western Europe or North America. It’s bizarre.

  • Israel is facing an Arab mentality that cannot be bridged

    United Nations’ recommended a second division (first division was giving three quarters of Jewish territory for the new Arab State of Jordan in 1922) of Palestine (I stress recommended, not mandated and it is not enforceable if the parties do not agree, therefore, it is null and void) Resolution 181 that established a timetable and method for the recommended partitioning of Palestine aka The Land of Israel in two parts (the Jews accepted it and the Arabs emphatically refused to accept it). On the part of Jewish leadership and as the vote in late 1947 for partition loomed with continued violence between the nationalities, a final effort was made by Jewish Agency representatives to meet with the Arab League Secretary and forge a peaceful execution of reorganization. Their response from Secretary Azzam Pasha was: …

    The Arab world is not in a compromising mood.

    It’s likely… that your plan is rational and logical, but the fate of nations is not decided by rational logic. Nations never concede; they fight.

    You won’t get anything by peaceful means or compromise.

    (This Arab policy has not changed even after losing 4 wars. That is why all of Israel’s concessions and compromises have not worked in achieving peace and will never work against such mentality. The Arabs are promoting and teaching their children to hate and commit terror and violence, they honor terrorists and suicide bombers).
    You can, perhaps, get something, but only by the force of your arms. We shall try to defeat you, with the force of our Armies. I am not sure we’ll succeed, but we’ll try. We were able to drive out the Crusaders with the help of the Jews, but on the other hand we lost Spain and Persia. It may be that we shall lose Palestine. But it’s too late to talk of peaceful solutions….
    Thus, the Arabs lost the 1948 war and Israel thrived, against all odds. The Arabs lost three more wars against Israel; in the 1956 Sinai Campaign, the 1967 six Day War and the 1973 Yom Kippur War. After each war, Israel became stronger and more innovative. It was a choice between survival and extinction.
    You would think; that the Arabs by now will have learned their lesson, and change direction, start pursuing co-existence, which will benefit both parties with an enormous economic development and a better standard of living, better schools, better healthcare, better housing and boost to moral.
    “It is Harder to Make Peace Than to Make War”
    YJ Draiman

  • Remember this is from the PLA and Jordan.

    We can’t trust Jordan.

  • If the UNESCO World Heritage Committee votes to approve the resolution, which would deny the Jewish people her holiest site on earth in a historically Jewish city, it will be an ugly victory for Islamic terrorism and the forces of evil. It will unleash the worst possible effects – not for Israel, but those effects will extend throughout the earth.
    Perhaps, this comment will sound far-fetched to some people, but it may be beyond our comprehension to know the true holiness that is The Temple Mount. It is tied to G-dliness.
    A vote against the resolution will affirm what is just, righteous, and historically true. We hope for the best.

  • Jonnie

    According to James Carroll, when Caliph Umar, Muhammad’s second successor, captured Jerusalem he sought to entice exiled Jews to return to the City by directing that the Jewish Temple be rebuilt.

    If this is true, then all those Muslims who deny any Jewish connection to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount are calling Umar a fraud.

  • Isahiah62

    well the inversion of TRUTH is now complete with this latest fiction being peddled by Muslims. Full tilt boogie on the replacement religion pretenders, thieves of the covenant. It was Isaac not Ishmael at the rock under their aqsa, formerly a CHURCH.

    Sorry but it is Muslims and Mohamed who have NO CONNECTION AT ALL TO JERUSALEM- that’s right none, nada, zilch, bubkes.

    Please read the all the comments on this page and get the full story about the Night Journey, a dream of Mo who goes to the “furthest mosque”. In fact NO MOSQUE at all existed in in Jerusalem at the time. It was a DREAM, not real flight, and of course horses don’t fly

  • If the Temple Mount is historically Jewish then the Arabs have no right to control it or to prevent Jewish access.
    Some of your correspondents insist on renewed Jewish occupation. The Arab world over the years has called for war in defense of Al Aqsa.

    How many of our sons and daughters are we prepared to sacrifice in this matter? If an enemy invades our territory then our army must fight, but is it worth while to shed our blood for such idiocy?

    I made Aliyah in 1954 and was given a tour of the Mosques by Moslem guides. In time they may well come to their senses again, but the lives shed in military action will forever be lost.

  • ALAN

    UN is the big parasite of usa usa should take them out let the arabs pay their expenses after all they only vote for their interests….

  • enufizenuf

    Rabbi Kahane was correct, if all the uncooperative arabs had been removed from Israel and Judea and Samaria this wouldn’t even be an issue. Had Israel not interfered with the PLO’s attempted takeover of Jordan that state would now be the national homeland to all of the Palestinians, not just half of them, and they’d have disappeared into history as the misbegotten pack of miscreants they are.

  • larry

    It seems to me that the Jordanians rules the West Bank (hence name: west side of Jordan) until the ’67 war. They left in defeat and did not want it back.

    Now the real estate called the West Bank should belong to the victors, the Israelis and not to the Palestinians (who never really had any rule there).


    The time is long past since the entire UN became an insult to its founding principles and now finds itself in the hands of inhuman butchers. If Western powers had any conscience, they would immediately condemn this perverted organization, declare it a TERRORIST scourge, promptly dissolve it—and convert its headquarters building on the East Side of New York City into a useful public purpose (a hospital, a medical research center, a home for the aged, etc.).

  • Donna Slotnick

    Do not vote Against Israels Ancient connection to Jerusalem and the Jewish temple which stands at the Western Wall. UNESCO. DO NOT BELIEVE THE LIES.

  • Sherlock Holmes

    The 21 countries listed are not deeply immersed in Biblical studies, but in April two Christian heritage countries like Spain and France supported the grossly anti-Jewish proposal, while other Christian Heritage countries like the UK, USA and Germany opposed the anti-Jewish proposal. Until a few years back the Arabs gave tours of the Temple Mount explaining to tourists that this was the site of Solomon’s Temple and Arabs acknowledged that the Western Wall was the remain of Herod’s enlarged Temple Mount. Everyone knew the truth, but some today falsify reality.

  • Jack Holan

    I don’t know if what is presented here as Our response is merely the essence of the argument presented. I would have emphasized the continued presence of the Jewish population in Jerusalem, that population being larger than the Muslim population according to Otooman Tax records, the total disregard for Christian and Jewish Property and Holy Pla es during the Jordanian Occupation 48-1967. I would detail what they did with grave markers from the Mt of Olives to build the road to the Colony Hotel the public latrine built next to the Western Wall. The closing of access to Holy Places for Jews and Christians. This is how they respect Holy Places of other Religions. If this was a long time ago fast forward to today with the Tomb of the Patriarchs and other places.

  • Liars and thieves distorting the reality and the truth.Israel should take back the mount and not have given charge of it to Jordan or Arabs and a big error made by the late General Moshe Dayan in 1967 when the Jewish Capital was reunited.We must regain control of Temple Mount as Jewish Holy Land or site given by G_D is not to be given away.Israel soldiers fought and many died or wounded to regain Jerusalem after 2000 years. Islam was ot a religion in that time when it was the Jewish Kingdom of David and Solomon.
    Arabs think they have a superior race or religion then they are very mistaken.Many of the Islamic countries in Middle East and North Africa their citizens are living in poverty and misery and are not Democratic.Israel is a light that shines bright in this region and Israeli Arabs,Christians and Jews are all enjoying a good life with Freedom and Democracy.Am Yisrael Chai.SHALOM.SHALOM

  • Linda

    This stupid vote will only prove your ignorance.

  • Esther Kaplan

    It is obvious to me that first the UN and then its minions, including UNESCO, not only care nothing about Israel, about historical accuracy or about Jews, but actively seek the destruction of all three. The issue now must be can Israel remain strong and does she have allies she can count on? I pray for Israel daily; may this small country find a path…

  • Theodore Crawford

    The UNESCO World Heritage Committee; a “Rogue’s Gallery” of liars and deniers. They, along with the rest of the world, are in for a severe shock when G_d intervenes on Israel’s behalf! They’ve set themselves up for a long fall.

  • Chaya Hurwitz

    Excellent article, brilliantly written.
    Let’s have more from Mr. Traiman.

  • Tony Trenton

    Jordan touts peace with Israel. But undermines the concept at every turn !!!



    NOW !!!

  • Tony Trenton

    The personal names of this liblous resolution must be published. So that the world will be able to recognize and vilify them in the future.

    If this resolution passes. Then the reconstruction of the Temple should begin immediatly !!!

  • a.s.adler

    I have not seen the text of the proposed resolution — and it would be good for you to provide a link. It should be clear that Moslem Tradition recognizes that the Temple of Solomon stood on that site. I was even told by a Moslem scholar at the Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America — a division of Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, that the connection between Solomon’s Temple and the Temple Mount is recognized by traditional Moslem scholars and that none of these scholars say that the Temple was a metaphor or was located someplace else. He then added on his own, ~”Anyone who denies this is as one who denies Islam”. Some years later, I asked the same question of Imam Abu-Namous, who was for some years the leading Imam of the Islamic Cultural Center – the largest Mosque in NYC. He agreed with the first scholar on every point except the last. Imam Abu-Namous is from the area that some call Palestine and that Jews have called “Eretz Yisroel — the Land of Israel” for thousands of years.

    With prayers for Shalom/Salaam/Peace

    A. S. Adler

    Yerushalyim Ir Ha Kodesh
    [Jerusalem, the Holy City]

  • Paul Winter

    If Israel had a leader worthy of the name, it would have used this mendacious chutzpahdige resolution to take back control of the Temple Mount from the Waqf and thus from Jordan and to send police to enforce civilised behaviour on the Mount and inside the mosques. It would also have announced that Jews who wish to pray on the Temple Mount are free to do so and mohammedan aggression against them would be stopped by whatever force that requires. But all Israel has is its current crop of dhimmi “leaders”.

    • Myron Slater

      I agree with Paul Winter on his comments, Israel needs to take control of the Temple Mount. The United Nations is controlled by the Arabs in its body. So UNESCO IS also controlled by that faction.

  • Peter Joffe

    We have to recognize that Islam is based on misguidance and lies. From their ‘god’ and ‘prophet’ to every day life, Islam cannot survive if the truth be known. For example Jerusalem is not mentioned, even once in the Quran and Muhammad never visited the place as he had no reason to go there. Jerusalem has and always should be the place of Jews as it has been before Islam was ever ‘invented’.

  • nat cheiman

    The 21 countries are all Ant Israel. What else would you expect from countries whose population are uneducated?

  • Lia

    ” … and undermine the credibility of UNESCO in the future,” Gold wrote. UNESCO, like all the other UN agencies, has no credibility,and has never had any.

  • Accept the Arab Peace Plan of 2002 , before your Grand children will be wondering you didn’t some day !

  • Why is the UNESCO not declared a terrorist organisation yet, or at least a terrorism-affiliated group ?

    PS: while I regularily comment on your pages, I can not seem to view the comments, not the comments from others, nor my own. Why is that please?

  • stevenl

    Israel has allowed the destruction of countless Jewish artifacts present on the Temple Mount!
    The Muslim world with the assistance of many from the West wants to rewrite history.

  • With resolutions like these, the UNESCO is neither Educational, Scientific nor Cultural, just a shadow of its former self.

  • If UNESCO cannot muster enough resolve to find the ground for a compromise between these two repositories of sacred virtues then is there any basis of hope for peace among the factions of alleged civilization?

  • Jonah

    They exist to distort reality when it comes to Israel. The only hope Israel has is that Russia will nuke them and it looks like that may happen in the very near future. When the sole existance for and organization has been boiled down to its true Essense and it is to terminate Israels existence in Gods eyes it’s hammer time. It seems these idiots are on a road to destruction and refuse to slow down, to waiver, or to pause and ponder the consequences of their actions. We will have it our way or we will die trying to achieve it. Israel must be terminated and that is an absolute, non negotiable and is true Islamic doctrine. In Gods eyes it’s time to burn the field he starts by allowing the aggredious offenders the opportunity to kill each other with the total amount reaching one third of the worlds population and I think he is going to use Putin to accomplish this task. That’s just a good start you see Islam lead by Obama must kill all the religious Jews and destroy Israel or die trying. God is going to allow them the opportunity to exercise the second option. So God says farewell U.N., farewell Europe, farewell Obamas America, and farewell to everyone who participated in any action to exterminate Israel. If you by chance happen to survive the tribulation it would help to be able to speak Chinese, Russian, and enjoy good company with those from India……and others who have been adopted by God. Remember Jesus is a Jew. He loves everyone who loves him, and God loves those who love Israel.

  • Jay Lavine

    The “status quo,” historic or otherwise, means the way things are right now. So use of this expression denotes support for Israeli control.