The cultural organization of the United Nations on Tuesday adopted a third resolution indicating that Israel has no historical or legal right to any part of Jerusalem, ignoring the Jewish people’s millennia-old bond with the city.
The UNESCO resolution, which was voted on as Israel celebrated its 69th Independence Day, was introduced by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, and Sudan, The Times of Israel reported. It passed by a vote of 22 to 10, with twenty abstentions. Those opposing the resolution included the United States, Italy, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Lithuanian, Greece, Paraguay, Ukraine, Togo, and Germany.
In October, UNESCO passed two similar, widely-criticized resolutions denying historical Jewish ties to Jerusalem. Notably, those resolutions passed just as Israeli archaeologists identified the location where Roman troops breached the walls of Jerusalem before destroying the Jewish Temple nearly 2,000 years ago, and unveiled a 2,700-year-old ancient manuscript with the oldest non-Biblical reference to Jerusalem in Hebrew. Both discoveries, among others last year, further attested to the extensive historical ties between Jews and Jerusalem.
“There is no other people in the world for who Jerusalem is as holy and important as for the Jewish people,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin said in Jerusalem ahead of the vote. “Even though a meeting will take place at UNESCO today that will try to deny this historical truth.”
The earlier UNESCO resolutions, which only affirmed Jerusalem’s sanctity for Muslims, were mocked by Rep. Ted Lieu (D – Calif.), who declared that UNESCO operated in an “alternate universe where you will see unicorns and flying dragons” but no Jews or Christians.
While the latest resolution acknowledges Jerusalem’s importance to all three Abrahamic faiths, it calls Israel an “occupying power” in Jerusalem and affirms UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which condemns Israeli presence in eastern Jerusalem, where the Western Wall and Temple Mount are located.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the World Jewish Congress last week that denying Israel’s right to exist is a “modern form of anti-Semitism” and had previously stated “that a Jewish temple once stood on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.” Guterres has not yet weighed in on the latest UNESCO resolution.
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