B’nai B’rith International denounces the United Nations Security Council’s “press statement” on simmering tensions around Jerusalem and on the Temple Mount, issued late on Sept. 17. Clearly a distorted political product, it should not have been approved by the council's 15 members--including the permanent members: the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom and France.
The Temple Mount is the single holiest site in Judaism—and yet, deploringly, the Security Council statement refers to the historic plateau, five times, only by its Muslim name. Jewish and other non-Muslim visitors to the site have increasingly been targeted with organized intimidation and hate attacks, persistently and openly incited by inflammatory Islamic leaders and Palestinian politicians. And still, the Security Council statement only says that “Muslim worshippers at the Haram Al-Sharif must be allowed to worship in peace, free from violence, threats and provocations.”
In a policy of incomparable care and restraint, but with virtually no international acknowledgement, Israel has long determinedly maintained a status quo at the Temple Mount that allows only Muslims to pray openly there.
Despite this, and in stark contrast, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas himself has spoken of pilgrimage sites on the Temple Mount being “contaminated” by Jews, saying they “have no right to desecrate them with their filthy feet” and “no right to defile” the Mount, which is claimed as an exclusively Arab and Islamic domain.
One can only imagine the international reaction if such utterly incendiary and bigoted comments were to be made by the prime minister of Israel.