Zionist Union MK Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin attacked the UNESCO decision to deny a Jewish connection to the Western Wall, calling it an "not just an anti-Israel decision but also an anti-Semitic decision which demonstrates how much this organization is intent on fighting Israel and Judaism far more than on dedicating itself to education, culture and science which it is supposed to be promoting."
Nahmias-Verbin also sees the decision as proof of Israel's poor standing in international circles.
Former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, also a member of the Zionist Union, sent a letter to UNESCO and to the director of the organization in which she expressed concern that the decision could lead to an escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict.
"UNESCO's job is to preserve the heritage of the past and not to distort the future. Even if I have political differences with the government, there is no place for politics over the authentic historic connection of the Jewish people to Temple Mount and the Western Wall," said Livni.
She added that "We have a joint responsibility to prevent the national conflict from deteriorating into a religious conflict - and this decision could cause just that."
The Temple Mount is Judaism's holiest site. Both the First and Second Holy Temples were built on the Mount and it is believed to be the place where the Binding of Isaac took place. The Western Wall is the only standing vestige of the Second Temple compound's outer wall and is frequented by hundreds of thousands of Jews who come to pray there each year.