U.S. lawmakers blast UNESCO resolution

Senator Ted Cruz and Congressman Jerrold Nadler condemn UNESCO resolution which denies Jewish connection to the Temple Mount and the Kotel.

Ben Ariel ,

Ted Cruz
Ted Cruz

American lawmakers on Thursday condemned UNESCO’s passing of a resolution denying any Jewish connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said UNESCO had “doubled down on its reflexive anti-Israel bias by voting for yet another resolution that deliberately distorts history and denies the specific connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem going back thousands of years.

“It is unfortunate that the U.S. Mission to UNESCO could not do more to persuade our allies to oppose this disgraceful resolution, the real purpose of which is to undermine Jerusalem's identity as the capital of the Jewish State,” he continued.

Cruz called on Congress to “redouble its efforts to counter these pernicious attempts to falsely attack and delegitimize our close ally through international institutions by continuing to withhold funding from entities that participate in such activities, and reaffirm our commitment to stand unshakably with Israel.”

On Tuesday, Cruz and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) led a bipartisan, bicameral letter to members of the Executive Board of UNESCO urging opposition to this resolution.

Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), who had joined the initiative by Cruz and Ros-Lehtinen also condemned the passage of the resolution.

“I am outraged by the actions of the UNESCO Executive Board today in passing a resolution that is blatantly anti-Semitic and obviously revisionist as it seeks to eliminate all Jewish ties to the holiest site in Judaism, the Temple Mount,” said Nadler.

“By declaring the site as solely sacred for Muslims, and utterly ignoring the indisputable Jewish and Christian ties, this resolution is fundamentally ahistorical. It willfully disregards historical facts in the pursuit of an anti-Semitic agenda from a body that routinely demonstrates an unfair bias against Israel,” he continued.

“Without consideration for the Temple Mount’s significance in Judaism, UNESCO has engaged in an outrageous assault on the history of the Jewish people and the history of Jerusalem, and for that matter, the origins of Christianity. I applaud the United States for leading the opposition to this resolution, and for demonstrating—yet again—the importance of America’s leadership on the international stage in standing against such attacks,” Nadler concluded.

The resolution was supported by 24 states, including Russia and China. 6 countries opposed and 26 abstained.

The resolution maintains that the Western Wall and Temple Mount will be referred to by their Arabic names and the Hebrew terms for the sites will only appear in quotation marks in UN references.

Israeli officials blasted the resolution, with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu saying, "The UNESCO theater show goes on. Today it took a ridiculous decision denying the connection between the Jewish people and the Western Wall.

"It's like saying that the Chinese have no connection to the Great Wall of China and the Egyptians have no connection to the pyramids," added Netanyahu.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein also spoke out against the UN, saying that the UN is "disconnected from reality and history."

In contrast, Palestinian Authority (PA) officials welcomed the passing of the resolution, claiming it sends a message to Israel that it must end its “occupation” and recognize a Palestinian state with eastern Jerusalem as its capital.