Is the Temple Mount in Jerusalem even Jewish? It may sound like an absurd question to some, but it’s an issue the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization intends to settle with a vote during its 40th annual meeting in Istanbul, Turkey over the next week.
Considered by Jews as the holiest place in their religion, the Temple Mount is the site of two ancient Jewish temples built by King David. However, it is overseen today by Arabs who are looking to sever any Jewish claim to it and who desire to continue their quest to delegitimize the state of Israel.
The resolution, as reported by israelhayom.com, calls for a return to the “historic status quo” for the Temple Mount. The meeting in Turkey began Sunday and will run through July 20.
Non-Muslims are allowed to visit the site during restricted hours and under careful monitoring, but they are not allowed to pray during that time. Breakingisraelnews.comreports that “Arabs claim that Israel is attempting to change the status quo following an increase in the number of Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount. Breakingnewsisrael.com’s report says, “the United Nations document repeatedly refers to Israel as the ‘occupying power’ and accuses it of causing damage to the site, carrying out illegal excavations and preventing the Jordanian Waqf, which has jurisdiction over the Temple Mount, from making repairs and renovations.”
In April in Paris, UNESCO adopted a resolution that ignores Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall area in Jerusalem’s Old City. The Jerusalem Postreported in April that UNESCO referred to the Temple solely as al-Aska Mosque/al-Haram al Sharif and the Western Wall as al-Buraq Plaza.
Israeli Foreign Ministry Director General Donald Gore sent a scathing letter to the head of UNESCO recently demanding it to reject the “deliberate one-sided resolution,” israelhayom.com reported.
“Today, it is Israel that defends religious freedom for all of the great faiths—Judaism, Christanity and Islam—against the intolerance sweeping the Middle East region,” Gore said in the letter. “(The resolution) is full of distortions and is totally disconnected from reality on the ground. We urge you to oppose this effort to distort history, that will offend the members of the Jewish and Christians faiths and undermine the credibility of UNESCO in the future.”
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