Nov 4, 2016

UNESCO – Temple Mount Resolution Condemned by Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County and JCRC Leaders

Late last month, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted a dangerous resolution that aims to change the status quo of the Temple Mount and declare the Western Wall a part of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

As leaders of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County and its Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), we join with worldwide Jewish communities and all who care about Israel and its historical integrity in condemning this resolution that was prepared by the Palestinian Authority and introduced by six Arab states. We are bitterly disappointed and gravely alarmed that UNESCO would seek to fan the flames of religious and cultural conflict and undermine historic Jewish and Christian ties to the Old City of Jerusalem.

The resolution is an affront to the Jewish people and our more than two-millennia connection to the Western Wall and the Temple it once supported. By acknowledging the holy sites both on and around the Temple Mount solely by their Arabic names, this resolution seeks to invalidate any claim the Jewish people have to our holiest site.

Passage of this untruthful and one-sided resolution also erodes efforts to seek a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, heightening the already palpable religious tensions in Israel and the surrounding region. It sends a message of reward for the terrorism and violence of recent times, and further exacerbates any chance for meaningful negotiations and peace.

At no point does the proposal acknowledge a Jewish association with the Western Wall, one that clearly dates to ancient times. Instead, it ignores any Jewish connection to the site altogether. This gross attempt to erase history by UNESCO is unconscionable. This revision of history is political, offensive, and without factual merit.

We commend the United States and other nations that stood up for historic truth by opposing and rejecting this malicious resolution that nullifies our Jewish tie to our holiest site and denies the Christian attachment to revered holy places. And we implore the United Nations to see this for the anti-Israel attack that it is, to consider the damaging effects this change will have on Israel and the entire Middle East, and to join us in condemning it in absolute terms.

As always, it is critical that we remain vigilant regarding threats both blatant and insidious to Israel and our people. We ask that you share the information about this UNESCO resolution with your family, friends and colleagues.

Anne Jacobson
Federation Board Chair

Matthew Kutcher
JCRC Chair

Matthew C. Levin
Federation President & CEO

Stuart Silver, Esq.
JCRC Director