The executive board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Friday denied Israel’s claim to the Temple Mount and Western Wall.
Meeting in Paris, the organization ignored the Jewish connection to Jerusalem sites in a resolution that passed with 33 votes in favor, six against, and 17 abstained, and referenced only the Al-Aksa Mosque and the Al-Haram Al-Sharif (Temple Mount). The Western Wall area was referenced as the Al-Buraq Plaza. Last year UNESCO refused to reclassify the Wall as a Muslim site.
France, Spain, Sweden, Russia and Slovenia were among the non-Arab nations who supported the resolution. Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States objected.
The resolution accused Israel of planting “fake Jewish graves” in eastern Jerusalem. This claim is especially enraging, since the old Jewish cemetery on Mount Olives was desecrated by the Jordanians before 1967, with its tombstones being used to pave roads.
Israeli ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama released a statement in response saying, “Even if UNESCO passes dozens of resolutions, and decides to continue passing thousands more, Jerusalem will always remain as part of the capital of Israel and the Jewish people.” Shama added, “As you continue on this path of incitement, lies and terror you will be sending UNESCO down a path towards irrelevance.”