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World Heritage Committee Discounts Jewish Connection to Jerusalem

B’nai B’rith International again directs its incredulity at a U.N. body as it votes to erase Jewish ties to holy sites in Jerusalem, the center of Jews’ national and religious life throughout history.

During a secret ballot vote, the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) voted, as had the UNESCO Executive Board last week, to whitewash the Jewish connection to the holiest site in Judaism: the Temple Mount.

Ten countries out of the committee’s 21 member states voted to adopt the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic resolution, while 40 percent of the committee members abstained from voting. B’nai B’rith thanks Croatia and Tanzania for insisting upon a vote, thereby blocking a Palestinian attempt to pass the appalling resolution by consensus, giving it the appearance of unanimous support.

“UNESCO is once again abandoning its own mission by denying fundamental truth and engaging in political warfare against the legitimacy of the only democratic nation in the Middle East. The Temple Mount has always been the holiest site for Jews, and this attack on the Jewish faith exemplifies the deep-seated anti-Semitic and anti-Israel bias that has been exported from the Middle East to the U.N.,” B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman said. 

The resolution, entitled “Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls,” only refers to the Temple Mount by Arabic names, “Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif,” and describes it exclusively as a “Muslim holy site of worship.” Irrefutable historical evidence credits Jews with establishing Jerusalem as the capital of Jewish life long before Islam came into being. 

“UNESCO has allowed itself to promote vile historical revisionism and the abject denial of the Jewish people’s heritage, thus calling into question its own legitimacy,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said.

B’nai B’rith—which maintains longstanding accreditation at UNESCO and was present for the deliberations of the World Heritage Committee this week—has actively advocated over recent months and years as the body has been exploited to deny Jewish historical ties to holy sites in Jerusalem and elsewhere in Jews’ ancestral homeland.