NEW YORK, Oct. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC deplored today's UNESCO vote erasing any Jewish connection to Judaism's holiest site, the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem. UNESCO, the cultural arm of the world body, adopted the resolution on Jerusalem by a vote of 24 to 6, with 26 abstaining.
"A minority of UNESCO members, led by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Arab countries, has sought for a long time to exploit this body to castigate Israel," said AJC CEO David Harris, who in recent weeks met with a number of world leaders urging rejection of the resolution. "The United States, United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Lithuania and Estonia have asserted moral leadership by firmly and unequivocally rejecting this blatant historical revisionism. Let's be clear what's at work here: This is another attempt to undermine the very foundation of the State of Israel and the documented, age-old historical Jewish connection to the land. And unlike previous such resolutions, notably, not one European nation lent its support this time."
The UNESCO resolution refers to the Temple Mount only by its Muslim name, and thus ignores both Jewish and Christian ties to the holy sites in Jerusalem's Old City.
Harris also pointed out that PA President Abbas has yet to respond to the invitation from Prime Minister Netanyahu, expressed at the UN General Assembly last month, to visit Israel and address the Knesset.
"Palestinian-inspired UNESCO resolutions – or, for that matter, absurd calls by the PA to revisit the Balfour Declaration of 1917 – do not bring the day of Israeli-Palestinian peace any closer," Harris said. "Only direct bilateral negotiations can achieve that goal."
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SOURCE American Jewish Committee