Photo Credit: Sebbi Berens / Flash 90
An Israeli soldier prays at the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site in the Old City of Jerusalem, September 15, 2016.

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee passed a second resolution Wednesday morning erasing the historic ancient ties between Judaism, Jerusalem and the holy sites in the eternal Israeli capital.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nachshon called the vote “a piece of rubbish.”


The measure was proposed by Tunisia and Lebanon on behalf of the Palestinian Authority and Jordan, neither of whom are members of the World Heritage Committee. That did not stop either of the two from threatening the voting members with an ultimatum, however, if they were to decide to vote against the resolution.

Entitled ‘Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls,’ the measure refers to the holy sites in the ancient city – including the site of the two Jewish Holy Temples – exclusively by their Arabic names and solely in terms of their Islamic status.

But of the 21 member states who were eligible to vote on the measure, just 10 voted in favor of the resolution. Eight abstained, and two opposed it. Jamaica was simply absent from the room. Eight others turned in entirely blank voting forms.

Last week the Executive Board of the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted a similar resolution, this one entitled “Occupied Palestine.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in response that the vote was a “continuation of the theater of the absurd. Radical Islamic forces destroy mosques, churches and archaeological sites, while Israel is the only state in the region that preserves them and allows freedom of worship for all religions.

“UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee deserves to be condemned, not Israel,” Netanyahu said.

The International Council on Monuments and Sites has also spoken out against the UNESCO Jerusalem resolutions, which are part of a campaign by the Palestinian Authority to reclassify all holy sites in the Israeli capital as solely Islamic in order to strengthen Muslim claims to Jerusalem. Last year’s texts, in addition to the previous resolution, referred to Israel as the “occupying power” and condemned the Jewish State for its alleged “activities” at holy sites in the city.

“There should be a clear distinction between political controversies and scientific facts and that political disputes … and political views cannot justify statements which erase basic and well known and proven historical facts,” said Council Vice President Gideon Koren, an Israeli attorney. The Council, an independent advisory body on manmade World Heritage Sites, decided to speak out after a board meeting in Istanbul.

UNESCO secretary-general Irina Bokova herself also condemned the resolutions, as did outgoing United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon and tens of thousands of others who signed a petition submitted to Bokova earlier this week.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.


  1. My suggestion to Israel. to respond to #Unesco.

    Step 1- all media who say they are based in Gaza and syria are now no longer allowed to stay in the bar at the King david in Jerusalem and have to actually stay in Gaza and Syria. this may have the added benefit of actually improving media coverage.

    Step 2- all UN employees who work for any Un agency are immediately evicted from tel aviv and Jerusalem and can stay in Gaza , Jordan , and Syria, including the Gay ones like Chris Gunness who lives in Tel aviv with his idiot Jewish Boyfriend. why should Israel be housing and protecting these clowns.

    Step 3-the next time the UN white mice are on the run from isis, they are to be told in no uncertain terms that hiding in israel is no longer an option, run to another border.

    Step 4-Immediate removal of the Waqf back to Jordan, Temple mount administration to be taken over by the Temple institute.

    step 5- any action within jerusalem deemed contrary to the public good or safety will result in the immediate expulsion of said family, to either Gaza or Ramallah their property to be immediately forfeit to any victims and if there are no victims to the state of israel.

    step 6- muslims can pray at al aqsa, but the dome of the rock to be immediately removed (by non jewish labourers) and the Temple to be designed and built according to Jewish plans. (al aqsa is not the Golden dome)

    step 7- during the initial hue and cry, all jews on the planet are allowed to tell anyone whining about this to go eff their hat.

    step 8- Israel tells world, you brought this on yourselves.

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