A group of Jewish American lawmakers on Wednesday issued a statement denouncing the UNESCO resolution which denies the Jewish connection to Jerusalem.
The lawmakers signed to the statement are U.S. Representatives Nita Lowey (D-NY), Sandy Levin (D-MI), David Cicilline (D-RI), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Susan Davis (D-CA), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Alan Grayson (D-FL), Steve Israel (D-NY), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Jared Polis (D-CO), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), John Yarmuth (D-KY), and Lee Zeldin (R-NY).
“As Jewish Members of the United States House of Representatives, we strongly condemn any effort to blatantly disregard the religious histories of Jews, Christians, and Muslims. That is why we fervently denounce the efforts of certain Member-States of UNESCO to continue denying Jewish and Christian claims to holy sites in Jerusalem, which have irrefutable historic significance for both religions,” they wrote.
“UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova stated that 'Jerusalem is the sacred city of the three monotheistic religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam.' Yet the resolution adopted yesterday blatantly denies Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall by referring to them only as Muslim holy sites or by their Muslim names.
“Such brazen disrespect and failure to recognize the legitimacy of Jewish existence in the ancient Jewish homeland only serves to distort history, inflame tensions, and impede peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” the Jewish lawmakers continued.
“We commend the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Lithuania, and Estonia for voting against and the 26 countries that abstained from supporting such a biased and counterproductive resolution.”
The UNESCO resolution was originally approved last week, but the agency on Tuesday held a revote on the resolution and passed it again.
The second vote occurred after Mexico changed its mind on the issue and called to change its vote and also to hold a revote on the question altogether.
Palestinian Authority officials welcomed the passing of the resolution, claiming that the vote was "about occupation."
Israeli officials blasted the resolution when it originally passed last week, 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 resolution, saying that the UN is "disconnected from reality and history."
Energy and Infrastructure Minister Yuval Steinitz condemned the UNESCO decision in an interview with Arutz Sheva, describing it as "wretched".
Steinitz said he was not surprised as "it follows a tradition over many years of anti-Israel and in this case also anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic decisions issuing from the UN. UNESCO is one of the organizations which excels in these kind of decisions."