NEW YORK, April 18, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC deplores the UNESCO Executive Board action denying any Jewish connection to the Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest site.
The resolution, adopted by a vote of 33 in favor, six against, and 17 abstaining, calls the Temple Mount only by its Arabic name, al-Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif.
"Admirably, the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Estonia, and Lithuania rejected this highly politicized measure, and support the well-documented historical fact that the Temple Mount is deeply connected to Judaism, the oldest of the three monotheistic religions," said AJC CEO David Harris. "On the other hand, France, Spain, and Sweden, choosing the convenience of politics over the reality of truth, joined the resolution's Arab sponsors in seeking to uproot Jewish history on and around the Temple Mount. Indeed, the resolution they embraced furthers the Palestinian leadership's campaign to deny the foundation of Israel's legitimacy.
The UNESCO resolution calls the Western Wall Plaza, where thousands of Jews come daily to pray, by its Arabic name, the Al-Buraq Plaza. The words Western Wall Plaza appear, after the Arabic name, only in quotation marks, as if to question the Jewish name's authenticity.
"UNESCO should be encouraging recognition, not denial, of Israel's rightful connection to holy Jewish sites," said Harris. "The Temple Mount action follows UNESCO denial of Jewish ties to Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem and to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. Most regrettably, these decisions are not helping to bring the day of peace closer. Indeed, those countries supportive of a two-state accord, such as France, Spain, and Sweden, should understand that their votes end up creating less, not more, likelihood of a final-status agreement."
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SOURCE American Jewish Committee