Saturday, October 15

The UNESCO Jerusalem Vote and Ramifications

Temple Mount and Western Wall during Shabbat
Temple Mount and Western Wall during Shabbat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It would be a good idea to read the full text of the revised UNESCO Resolution on “Occupied Palestine” before arriving at conclusions that are at most not objective on both sides of the great divide between Israel and the Palestinians. Emotional hubris is not constructive to both sides and in order to be rational we must become more knowledgeable in what is involved.
Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem, Israel.
Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

. Set up for peaceful purposes to promote intercultural dialogue, has been misused for political purposes.
The tone of the plan is biased towards Israel, which is viewed as the “occupying power” and is not carrying out its obligations towards the maintenance of the “holy places” to which it claims to be a signatory. Israel. According to the resolution Israel is abusing its power as an “occupier” towards the Palestinian population by restricting the “occupied” Palestinians the rights to pray in the Al Aqsa Mosque. The resolution continues its claims of Israel’s abuse of power. This, of course, can be disputed, taking into consideration the increase of Palestinian terror against innocent people, who happen to be in the area. The resolution is far from balanced as it does not condemn Palestinian violence and terror, which has widespread support of the Palestinian Leadership, especially Hamas that has given verbal and written support to lone wolf stabbing attacks against innocent Israelis, non-Israelis as well as Arab Israelis.  

Having read the text of this UNESCO resolution, there is no evidence denying the Jewish Link to the Temple Mount or re-writing history of the Jewish link to the Western Wall.

“3. Affirming the importance of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls for the three monotheistic religions, also affirming that nothing in the current decision, which aims, inter alia, at the safeguarding of the cultural heritage of Palestine and the distinctive character of East Jerusalem, shall in any way affect the relevant Security Council and United Nations resolutions and decisions on the legal status of Palestine and Jerusalem”.
“35. Reaffirms that the two concerned sites located in Al-Khalil/Hebron and in Bethlehem are an integral part of Palestine;
36. Shares the conviction affirmed by the international community that the two sites are of religious significance for Judaism, Christianity and Islam”. Does this negate the Jewish link to Jerusalem?
The use of Arabic names for the various sites rather than Jewish names is a bone of contention but certainly does not negate the link of these sites to Judaism. It is an attempt by the Netanyahu Government to make political capital over a matter that is non-existent.

Even on the Palestinian side there is a tendency to interpret this resolution incorrectly to suit their own narrative which is based on fantasies and not on history. After all each side has a narrative. Palestinian narratives do not correspond to historical facts. The narratives are based on justifying Palestinian political agendas. Scientific archeological finds and the correct methodology on interpreting historical facts does prove that the connection of Jews to Jerusalem is indisputable. The resolution passed does not dispute that at all.

The resolution was supported by 24 votes to 6, with 26 abstentions, in Paris on October 13, 2016.

Voting in favor were: Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chad, China, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Mauritius, Mexico, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan and Vietnam.
Voting against were: Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and United States.
Abstaining were: Albania, Argentina, Cameroon, El Salvador, France, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Haiti, India, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Kenya, Nepal, Paraguay, Saint Vincent and Nevis, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda and Ukraine.
Absent were: Serbia and Turkmenistan.
The message of those voting in favor of this resolution, is not a denial of the Jewish religious connection to Jerusalem over centuries, but rather a vote condemning the occupation of Jerusalem by Israel since June 1967. This includes Israel determining who will be responsible for the non-Jewish holy places.

Of course, the UNESCO members have been manipulated by the Palestinian representatives in the UN, who are making political capital out of this resolution. The resolution does by innuendo allow Palestinians to carry on their violence and murderous deeds against innocent people by weakening Israel’s role in maintaining law and order on the Temple Mount.
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It is significant to note that UNESCO’s Director-General Irina Bokova spoke out Friday 14th Oct 2016 in support of Israel and against the 24-6 vote of her organization’s Executive Board took the day before to approve a resolution that spoke of the Temple Mount and its Western Wall as a purely Muslim religious site.

The chair of UNESCO’s Executive Board, Michael Worbs, said Friday he was sorry about the resolution ignoring Jewish ties to Jerusalem’s holy sites that was passed by UNESCO on Thursday and that is set to be approved by his executive board next week. “It’s very exceptional what happened yesterday, and I’m sorry for that,” Worbs told Israeli television. The fact that senior officials in UNESCO have expressed disapproval of these resolutions gives a much needed sense of balance to this political hubris.

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