In a resolution last week, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) passed a resolution branding Israel as “an occupying power,” denying Israel’s historic and religious connection to holy sites such as the Temple Mount and the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
In its own words, the resolution “Calls on Israel, the Occupying Power, to stop the obstruction of the immediate execution of all the 18 Hashemite restoration projects in and around Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif.”
The resolution also condemned Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, which Unesco views as an impediment to humanitarian relief efforts. The resolution also criticized “the intolerable number of casualties among Palestinian children, the attacks on schools and other educational and cultural facilities and the denial of access to education, and requests Israel, the occupying Power, to immediately ease this blockade.”
In a responding statement, American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) President Jack Rosen expressed concern over the resolution, saying that the United Nations already suffers from “a major credibility gap” in its bias against Israel. According to Rosen, the resolution “only serves to harm” the reputation of the U.N. and affiliated bodies, along with their effectiveness in making contributions to Jerusalem’s already tense atmosphere.
“If UNESCO truly seeks to improve the situation on the ground,” Rosen said, “as opposed to fanning the fires of hatred, then it is critical for them not only to strike a vastly fairer and more balanced approach, but a historically accurate one.”
On Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahy condemned the Unesco resolution as well.
“This is yet another absurd UN decision,” Netanyahu said. “UNESCO ignores the unique historic connection of Judaism to the Temple Mount, where the two temples stood for a thousand years and to which every Jew in the world has prayed for thousands of years. The UN is rewriting a basic part of human history and has again proven that there is no low to which it will not stoop.”