(RNS) Jewish groups and Israeli leaders are decrying a UNESCO resolution they say ignores the Jewish character of their faith’s holiest site.
The resolutions supporters “choosing the convenience of politics over the reality of truth” joined its Arab sponsors “in seeking to uproot Jewish history on and around the Temple Mount,” said American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris.
The resolution “furthers the Palestinian leadership’s campaign to deny the foundation of Israel’s legitimacy,” Harris continued.
The executive board of UNESCO – the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization — voted Friday (April 15) to condemn Israeli aggression at the Temple Mount, the third holiest place for Muslims and the holiest for Jews.
The site of both the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Western Wall is a flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Both sides have accused the other of impeding worship there.
Jewish and Israeli leaders — including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — said the UNESCO resolution not only champions the Palestinian view of the conflict but ignores the site’s significance to Jews and the more than two millennia during which Jews have prayed at or in the direction of the Western Wall.
The Jordan Times headlined a story on the resolution: “Jordan triumphant in ‘diplomatic showdown’ over Jerusalem at UNESCO.”