UNESCO Resolution Ignores Jewish Claims to Har HaBayis

The facade of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris. (LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)
The facade of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris. (Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images)

The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has denied Israel’s historic claim to Har HaBayis and the Kosel.

The group’s Executive Board met in Paris Friday to adopt a resolution, but ignored the Jewish ties to these sites. Their resolution referenced only the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Al-Haram Al-Sharif (the Temple Mount). The Kosel area was referred to as the Al-Buraq Plaza.

Last year, UNESCO refused to reclassify the Kosel as a Muslim site. In their latest resolution, however, they seem to have changed their stance, and are now using language that almost solely refers to it as such.

Israel is now called upon, in the latest resolution, to restore Har HaBayis access to the way it was before September 2000, when the second intifada broke out. UNESCO also wants assurances that Israel will not deny Muslims access to the mosque.

The U.S. opposed the resolution along with six other nations including: Estonia, Germany Lithuania, the Netherlands and the U.K.

France, Spain, Sweden and Russia were among the countries that supported it.

The resolution also accused Israel of planting “Jewish fake graves” in Muslim cemeteries located around the Al-Aksa mosque, which is under the full authority of the Islamic Wakf.

In a statement over the weekend, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu noted, that “[t]his is yet another absurd U.N. decision. UNESCO ignores the unique historic connection of Judaism to the Temple Mount, where the two Batei Mikdash stood for [close to] a thousand years and to which every Jew in the world has prayed for thousands of years.

“The U.N. is rewriting a basic part of human history and has again proven that there is no low to which it will not stoop.”