JFNA Statement on UNESCO Temple Mount Resolution

In response to a new resolution adopted by UNESCO today regarding the Temple Mount, Jewish Federation of North America has issued the following statement:

Today, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted a resolution that aims to change the status quo of the Temple Mount and declare the Western Wall a part of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

Jewish Federations are bitterly disappointed that UNESCO would seek to fan the flames of religious and cultural conflict.

The resolution is an affront to the Jewish people and our over two-millennia connection to the Western Wall and the Temple it once supported. By acknowledging the holy sites both on and around the Temple Mount solely by their Arabic names, this resolution seeks to invalidate any claim the Jewish people have to our holiest site. The result of this aggressive effort will be to heighten the already palpable religious tensions in Israel and the surrounding region.

At no point does the proposal acknowledge a Jewish association with the Wall, one that clearly dates to ancient times. Instead, it ignores a Jewish connection to the site altogether. This gross attempt to erase history by UNESCO is unconscionable.

We urge the United Nations to see this for the anti-Israel attack that it is, to consider the damaging effects this change will have on Israel and the entire Middle East, and to condemn it in absolute terms.

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