Home » commentary » UNESCO Backs Motion Nullifying Jewish Ties to Temple Mount

UNESCO Backs Motion Nullifying Jewish Ties to Temple Mount

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[ Ed. note – What if it turned out there really was a Jewish temple in Jerusalem at one time, but that it did not stand where most people now think it did? A year ago I published an article entitled Wailing at the Wrong Wall: Misunderstandings About Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, which explored that very question–namely that the temple stood at a different location from what is today referred to as the “Temple Mount.”

Now it seems that UNESCO has reached similar conclusions–much to the irritation of the Israelis. Below are two articles, one, from YNet, on the UNESCO vote which took place yesterday, and the second, from Middle East Monitor, on an Israeli archaeologist, Meir Ben-Dov, who also has signed onto the “it-wasn’t-on-the-Temple-Mount” theory. The MEMO article is kind of short, although both may leave a lot of unanswered questions in your mind, and for that I strongly recommend you go back and read my Wailing at the Wrong Wall post of a year ago, as it will supply some background information as to how and why certain archaeologists reached the conclusions they did.

Well, if the temple wasn’t on the Temple Mount, then where was it? The main theory seems to be that it was situated 600 feet to the south on Mount Ophel, near the Spring of Siloam, and that Mount Ophel in reality was the actual “temple mount,” as it were. Six hundred feet is not a great  distance, and it may seem like a matter of almost trivial insignificance, but in reality the implications are huge.

Jews for centuries have been convinced that the Temple was located on the Temple Mount–a site that is referred to by Muslims as the Haram al Sharif–and there is a strong movement in Israel today to build a so-called “Third Temple” there. Home to the Al Aqsa Mosque, the Haram al Sharif is regarded by Muslims, however, as the third holiest site in Islam. Needless to say, tampering with the status quo risks igniting a major religious war–one that would make previous religious wars look like a minor squabble on a children’s playground. But this hasn’t stopped many Israelis, including some in the Knessett, from fantasizing about a new temple. Moreover, the action by UNESCO, as you will note from the YNet article below, has aroused considerable anger in Israel–anger which, to a degree, is even bleated out in the headline over the piece.

It should also be noted that skirmishes and disruptions on the Temple Mount, brought on by Jews going up to the site ostensibly to “pray,” was one of the triggering factors to the current intifada which began a year ago. Also worth noting is that the UNESCO vote has provided  graphic evidence, were any more needed, of the power of pro-Israel lobbies in Western countries. Both the YNet article below, as well as a Haaretz article here, mention extensive Israeli efforts to kill the measure, and the Haaretz piece even states bluntly that “due to Israeli efforts, no European country backed the motion.” Personally, though, I think the Israelis may be fighting a losing battle here. The archaeological evidence seems pretty substantial and there are websites, such as this one here,  that are already designating Mount Ophel as “the temple mount.” ]

UNESCO Fails to Acknowledge Jewish Ties to Temple Mount

By Itamar Eichner

The United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) passed a draft resolution on Thursday that failed to acknowledge the Jewish people’s ties to the Temple Mount, raising ire in Israel.

The proposal “strongly condemns the Israeli escalating aggressions and illegal measures against the Waqf Department and its personnel, and against the freedom of worship and Muslims’ access to their Holy Site Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al Sharif, and requests Israel, the Occupying Power, to respect the historic Status Quo and to immediately stop these measures.”

It omits the Jewish name for the holy site—the Temple Mount—and instead refers to it only by its Muslim name—Al-Haram Al Sharif.

The Palestinians have demanded that an international delegation experts be sent to the holy sites to examine what they have described as the destruction of historical and archeological heritage by Israel. They allege that this has been carried out in a variety of manners, including the building of the Jerusalem light rail and archeological excavations.

The Palestinians are seeking, inter alia, to appoint a UNESCO permanent observer in Jerusalem and to appoint a series of condemnations of Israeli activities, such as the alleged demolition of a school in Kfar Adumim. Israel claims that it was a dilapidated caravan that was destroyed and “not a school.”

The draft resolution, submitted by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, and Sudan, will be referred to UNESCO’s executive board for formal approval next week.

Twenty-four countries voted in favor of the proposal: Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chad, China, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Mauritius, Mexico, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan and Vietnam.

Six countries voted against it: Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and United States.

While 26 countries abstained from the vote: Albania, Argentina, Cameroon, El Salvador, France, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Haiti, India, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Kenya, Nepal, Paraguay, Saint Vincent and Nevis, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda and Ukraine.

Continued here


Israeli Archaeologist Denies Jewish Ties to Al-Aqsa Mosque


An Israeli archaeological expert has asserted that there is no relation between the Western Wall of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and an ancient Jewish temple, Al Jazeera reported today. This will likely serve to undermine Israeli excavations of the site.

Meir Ben-Dov, an Israeli archaeological expert who is author of many books about Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, further asserted that the Wailing Wall, the Jewish name for the Western Wall, has no sacred significance in the Jewish faith.

In related news, UNESCO members are expected to vote on a resolution that denies Jewish links to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Western Wall, known as the Buraq Wall to Muslims, agencies reported on Thursday.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz said that the resolution is expected to pass by a large majority, referring this to the inability of Israeli lobbying to persuade UNESCO members not to support the resolution.

“Israel has made efforts to block the resolution or at least soften it, but succeeded only in swaying the positions of a few member states,” Haaretz stated.

The Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar and Sudan pushed the draft resolution forward that declares that Jerusalem is holy for all the three Abrahamic religions of Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

The draft also includes a section that stresses that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is sacred only for the Muslims, referring to it as Al-Haram Al-Sharif, or the Sacred Sanctuary.

In April, UNESCO’s executive board ratified a similar resolution, which was supported by a number of European countries, including France.

However, after a “harsh” telephone call between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and French President Francois Hollande, France promised not to support any such resolution in the future.

14 thoughts on “UNESCO Backs Motion Nullifying Jewish Ties to Temple Mount

  1. It only goes to show how justified it was to bestow the Nobel Prize for Literature to Robert Zimmerman (aka Bob Dylan)! He deserved it not only for his tireless and DISCERNING advocacy of peace (against the war in Vietnam but for Israel’s war in Lebanon and its struggle against the intractable Palestinians who cling to Jewish land, sometimes violently!). An open admirer of Meir Kahane, Bob Zimmerman penned the heart-rending “Neighborhood Bully”, which paints Israel (and in fact metonymically the Jews) in the correct light: the eternally hounded and persecuted and the long-suffering victim of groundless hate. This decision by UNESCO exemplifies that hate.

  2. dyzim understandable winner
    only 3 nominees.
    other 2 – samantha power and victoria nudelman
    only jew nominators
    really dont remember dyzim being against vietnam or any war.
    then again i’m too young too remember bobby
    marching in streets throwing rocks
    never cared for his music

  3. Nope. Not kidding at all. He was already a recipient of the Presidential Medal for Freedom, given to him by the our Laureate of the Nobel Prize for Peace in Chief. Now he got the Nobel Prize for …. Literature. Move over Faulkner, the “Neighborhood Bully”: THAT is literature!

  4. You call him “bobby”? I call him “Shabtai”
    “Robert Allen Zimmerman (Hebrew name שבתאי זיסל בן אברהם [Shabtai Zisl ben Avraham])”

  5. A stunning comment from renowned scholar and historian Benjamin Netanyahu:
    ““To say that Israel has no connection to the Temple Mount is like saying that China has no connection to the Great Wall of China or that Egypt has no connection to the pyramids.”

    Some historians suspect that Netanyahu is preparing to attack a claim no one had made: that it was the Romans who also built the Great Wall of China and the Egyptian pyramids, not just the fortress that Jews like to call the ‘Temple Mount’. They speculate that the historians’ expected rush to demolish this straw man will also sweep away the Roman origin of the fortress ruin.

  6. for give me
    was told mr laureate
    hated to be called bobby
    made him look small and human
    no mortal he
    the best of plagiarists

  7. That area of Israel, the Temple Mount belongs to all the Abrahamic religions,_those who now occupy probably have more European heritage,the real Jews are those who continuously resided peaceably with their muslim brethren in Israel and much of the mid east and north Africa..p.s. Bob Dylan deserves noble peace prize for sure ,”Blowing in the wind”,and other songs did prick the consciousness of America on racial and ethnic equality,also I loved the spiritual connection he had with the great Jimi Hendrix..To be anti Zionist is not being anti Jewish, I grew up with Jewish people in North London ,and they were good people, but I am vehemently anti the discrimination and subjugation of one of the native peoples of Israel, that being the palistinian people..

  8. How sincere could he have been in his “pricking” the consciousness of America on racial and ethnic equality if he supported Israel’s ethnic cleansing and child killing?

    “Bob Dylan deserves noble peace prize for sure”

    I hope you’re kidding. An avowed supporter for Meir Kahane?!?!

    “To be anti Zionist is not being anti Jewish”– no, but it’s a good beginning.

  9. christianity an abrahamic faith??
    not to me
    richard or someone knowledgeable will have to make clear
    jesus in my belief came to warn, save man from the old test/judaism/jews
    remove the judaizers from the new test
    remove the old from the new
    christianity is not an abrahamic faith

  10. Well technically it’s an “abrahamic faith,” but at the same time I would call it a moot point. God as a God of love and compassion who loved all people equally–this God, the Holy Father Jesus introduced to the world, was radically different from the Old Testament god of vengeance who showed favoritism to one group of people only. So basically, it was an “abrahamic faith” that negated the only other “abrahamic faith” at that time, which was Judaism. Or as Christians have traditionally called it, it was a “new covenant.”

  11. It seems I sparked abit of comment ,Abrahmic is well a mute point as pointed out,its not a term I really use,as I am not a fan of the old testament,as I find much of it abhorrent,the fact it condones rape,genocide and slaveryand its actually quite racist in parts,,but as a German philosopher once said ,”we are sometimes attacked by ideas we though we conquered long ago”,i was trying to link these major religions,who do have some connection,i just fell into the trap of using the now weaponized word “Abrahamic”,i know its conveniently used as a way of softening Israel,s image,hey guys im a generation x_er and new to the game,my interest in politics is mostly post 911.

  12. P.s. type o,”thought “,its always interesting viewing the posts on here,I’m no expert on the Jewish vs goyim paradigm, but its good to read those who know more,but I am aware of the Noahide law, also I’m happy to be educated on nuances of this dogma,but anyway I’m still a fan of the poetry and lyrics of Bob Dylan..

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