Photo Credit: flash 90

This upcoming Israeli Independence Day, UNESCO is supposed to vote on a resolution rejecting Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem, the eternal capital city of the Jewish people since antiquity. This will be the first time that UNESCO will vote to reject Israeli sovereignty in all of Jerusalem and not just the areas that Israel occupied after the Six Day War. This comes after Saudi Arabia, one of the worst abusers of women’s rights, was elected to the UN Women’s Commission. These two actions highlight the peak of UN hypocrisy.

It is not news that the UN has lost its way and ALL of its marbles. Any international organization that declares Rachel’s Tomb and the Tomb of the Patriarchs to be Muslim holy shrines or thinks that Israel should return the Golan Heights to Syria is out of touch with history and reality. While we all know that the UN has already proved itself to be a hypocritical organization by focusing on delegitimizing Israel instead of actual threats– Iranian aggression throughout the Middle East, the ISIS terror threat, the genocide in Syria perpetrated by the Assad regime and the North Korean nuclear issue–voting to reject Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem while electing Saudi Arabia to be on the UN Women’s Commission represents an all-time low for the international body.


For the Jewish people, Jerusalem is not just their eternal capital city but the holiest place on the planet in their faith. Jerusalem is to the Jews what Rome is to the Catholics and Mecca is to the Muslims. According to the Jewish belief system, it was within the magical city of Jerusalem that the binding of Isaac took place and it is where Jacob had his famous dream. In addition, it is the spot where both the First and Second Jewish Temples stood.

The Jewish Temples were the glory of the ancient world. The ancient Jewish priests blessed ALL of the nations of the world within its sacred walls. For the Jewish people, the Temple was the center of the world. All Jews would visit there to perform sacrifices to G-d three times per year on Passover, Sukkot and Shavuot.

For these reasons, Jerusalem is inseparable from the Jewish people. As Psalms 137:5-6 proclaims, “If I forget thee O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to my palate, if I do not remember you, if I do not bring up Jerusalem at the beginning of my joy.” Indeed, Jerusalem is mentioned 349 times by name in the Jewish Bible, thus demonstrating the great Jewish attachment to the city.

By the UN voting to reject the Israeli sovereignty of Jerusalem, they are not only rejecting the Jewish belief system but also Christian and Islamic scriptures, which also recognize the Jewish attachment to the city. In fact, many Muslim religious sources throughout history have accepted the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount area. According to GLORIA (Global Research in International Affairs): “In Sura 17:1 of the Koran, the “Farthest Mosque” is called the al-masjid al-Aqsa. The Tafsir al-Jalalayn, a well-respected Sunni exegesis of the Koran from the 15th and 16th centuries, notes that the “Farthest Mosque” is a reference to the Bayt al-Maqdis of Jerusalem. In Hebrew, the Jewish Temple is often referred to as the Beyt Ha-Miqdash, nearly identical to the Arabic term.”

Furthermore, GLORIA proclaimed, “In the commentary of Abdullah Ibn Omar al-Baydawi, who authored several prominent theological works in the 13th century, the masjid is referred to as the Bayt al-Maqdis because during Muhammad’s time no mosque existed in Jerusalem. Koranic historian and commentator, Abu Jafar Muhammad al-Tabari, who chronicled the seventh century Muslim conquest of Jerusalem, wrote that one day when Umar finished praying, he went to the place where ‘the Romans buried the Temple [bayt al-maqdis] at the time of the sons of Israel.’”

Based on this, how can the Jewish connection to Jerusalem be rejected? How can there be a vote on Israeli Independence Day to reject Israeli sovereignty over the Jewish peoples’ eternal capital city including in areas of the city that Israel has controlled since the country proclaimed independence and thus are not considered disputed by anyone? It appears that the UN lost any semblance of legitimacy, for the organization itself has always recognized Israeli sovereignty within the 1949 Armistice Lines and any arguments about granting the Palestinians a state has always been a debate over what Israel captured during the Six Day War, not what Israel won during its War of Independence. If the UN accepts this resolution, then it will prove beyond dispute that this conflict is not over the settlements but Israel’s very right to exist.

This absurd vote comes within days after the UN elected Saudi Arabia to be on the UN Women Commission. “Electing Saudi Arabia to protect women’s rights is like making an arsonist into the town fire chief,” UN Watch Chief Hillel Neuer told RT. “It’s absurd. Women are not allowed to drive a car in Saudi Arabia. Women require a guardian for their entire lives, from their birth until death; that means either their father, a husband, a son, has to approve of wherever they travel, whether it’s inside or outside the country.”

Additionally in Saudi Arabia, women are stoned to death for adultery, women are executed for ‘witchcraft and sorcery,’ women are not allowed to expose their face in public. AND Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women cannot drive. Thus, Neuer concluded: “And so the notion that Saudi Arabia would be elected to the highest body that protects women’s rights is just absolutely absurd.”

Indeed, this together with the Jerusalem resolution to be voted on in a couple of days shows that the UN is no longer an international body where high level representatives gather to discuss important issues but rather it is a theater of the absurd, where various UN bodies compete in order to determine how out of touch with reality they can portray themselves to be. It is the greatest travesty of our times for as we speak, we are in great need of international leadership to deal with Iran, Syria, North Korea and other important issues but instead, we are dealing with a medieval jester making a mockery out of the international community.

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Rachel Avraham is the CEO of the Dona Gracia Center for Diplomacy and an Israel-based journalist. She is the author of "Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab Media."