(JNi.media) Tzippe Barrow, writing for CBN News from Jerusalem, suggested that for Bible-believing Jews and Christians the idea that historical Jewish sites have “somehow morphed into Muslim sites is nonsense.” She refers to the Palestinian Authority’s latest proposed resolution, sponsored by UNESCO, claiming that the Western Wall is also part of the al-Aksa Mosque compound (a.k.a. the Temple Mount) and should be recognized as a bona fide Muslim holy site—two Jewish Temples and 3500 years of history notwithstanding. And while they’re at it, the PA also declared Rachel’s Tomb outside Bethlehem and the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron as part of the rich Islamic historic tapestry.
The above bizarre UN resolution proposal is sponsored by UNESCO’s executive board members Algeria, Egypt, Kuwait, Morocco, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates, so you know it received impartial consideration and the kind of unbiased scholarly evaluation common in those stellar cultural centers. Except that, funny or not, the resolution is moving on towards real consideration at the UN, and should nothing be done about it, the Women of the Wall would have to learn to pray in Arabic on Rosh Chodesh if they want access to Buraq Plaza (the new name for the Kotel). And who knows, they might also have to change their organization name to Women of Buraq Plaza…
B’nai B’rith International was outraged at the idea, and issued a statement on Monday, saying, “In what is clearly a play to further delegitimze Israel and encourage discontent among Palestinians, the resolution condemns Israeli security forces for the response to the relentless terror waged against Israeli citizens in recent weeks, in which Palestinians have used knives, meat cleavers and cars [also: Molotov cocktails, rocks, burning tires, and AK 47 rifles] to murder Israelis. Further, the motion would curtail the Jewish state’s archeological excavations in Jerusalem’s Old City and makes the absurd allegation that the Israeli government limits Muslim worship and access to the holy site.”
B’nai B’rith also sent a personal letter to Her Excellency Ms. Irina Bokova, Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, reminding her that “since the destruction of Second Temple over 2000 years ago, Jews have looked to the Kotel with hope for the rebirth of sovereignty in our ancient homeland. We have put notes in the crevices of the wall with prayers. The connection between the Jewish people and the Kotel is strong, and eternal.” Therefore, “for UNESCO, the entity of the United Nations charged with preserving the cultural heritage of humanity, to pass a resolution that so blatantly disregards history would be an open affront to Judaism and the Jewish people.”
Incidentally, the Kotel was built in the year 30, give or take, by a grandson of Herod, as a supporting wall for the Temple compound several yards above. It did its job of supporting the upper plaza for only three or four decades, before the second Temple went ablaze. It is more likely that Jews over the generations set their prayers on the ruins above the Kotel than on the crevices of the wall below. Still, losing the Jewish legitimacy at both levels in one month is the stuff of lamentations.
Keep that in mind when reading the outraged press release from the American Jewish Committee, which is calling on the UNESCO Executive Board to “reject an Arab-sponsored resolution that denies any Jewish link to the holiest site in Judaism, the Western Wall in Jerusalem.” This is problematic, coming from a prestigious Jewish American organization, because it could be seen as validating Arab claims that Jews have not historically valued the Temple Mount.