B’nai B’rith International sent a letter to members of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Executive Board expressing grave concern over the first of two expected resolutions this month, that again outrageously call into question Jewish ties to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and Western Wall. The board will vote on the first resolution at the end of this week, and UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee is slated to consider a similar resolution toward the end of the month.
In their letter, B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman, Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin and Director of U.N. and Intercommunal Affairs David Michaels write: “…we are writing to express our dismay at a resolution presented by the Arab Group to the Programme and External Relations Commission of the current session of the Executive Board of UNESCO. The resolution, entitled, ‘Occupied Palestine,’ is the latest in a line of Palestinian UNESCO resolutions that seek, in an especially outrageous manner, to disconnect the Jewish people from their universally recognized history in Jerusalem. While this resolution now contains a token line affirming the importance of Jerusalem to ‘the three monotheistic religions,’ the rest of the text of the resolution is a rehashing of the same false claims and offensive language that have plagued previous UNESCO decisions on the subject.”
B’nai B’rith noted: “The Western Wall is a key component of the Temple complex that existed on the Temple Mount before the two ancient Jewish Temples were destroyed, first by the Babylonians and then by the Romans. The Temple Mount is and always has been the single holiest site in Judaism and the focal point of Jewish civilization, the spot toward which Jews everywhere have prayed for thousands of years.”
“We strongly appeal for you to join in moving the Executive Board in a new direction that restores UNESCO’s essential credibility by voting against this damaging resolution and by calling for an end to the fundamentally ahistorical and anti-Semitic denial of the very identity of the Jewish people,” the letter concluded.