Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. – Psalm 24:3-4
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has as its motto: Building peace in the minds of men and women. Following the 199th session of the Executive Board of UNESCO, that closed on 14 April, 2016, they might want to rethink that dictum. There is a definite retrogression of peace especially in the minds of men and women who know the truth; namely the well-documented history of the Jews in their Land.
The latest ignominy is one of a long list that stems from choosing a deceitful narrative over historical fact and archeological evidence. It is nothing less than another attempt to erase Jewish ties with Jewish heritage and history.
Presented by the African and Middle Eastern countries of Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan and authorized by the executive board’s Programme and External Relations Commission, the UNESCO executive board adopted a resolution on “Occupied Palestine”, referring to the Temple Mount by only its Arab name, Haram al-Sharif or Holy Sanctuary.
The Har HaBayit – Hebrew for the Mountain of the House [of God], is known colloquially as The Temple Mount. Long before it became highly contested real estate and almost daily headline news in this area; it was known as the holiest site of worship for Jews for 3 millennia. In Genesis 22, this location is called Har HaMoriyah (Mountain of Moriyah) and in other places in the Bible it is referred to as Mount Zion.
In 1 Chronicles 21, it is where David confessed his sin and subsequently built an altar. It is where God led Solomon to build the First Temple in 2 Chronicles and where it stood until the year 586 BC. Following that destruction, it was re-erected by Jews returning from Babylonian exile and enlarged by Herod’s help in 12BC before being destroyed again 70 AD; this time by the Romans. The top of the mountain lay in destruction for a few hundred years until the Muslim conquest of the city in 638 AD. Just before 700 AD, the Muslim Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik built the Dome of the Rock to commemorate the Quranic version of Abraham nearly sacrificing his son. Muslims believe it was Ishmael who was spared and not Isaac. Years later a mosque was built, which became called al-Aksa.
When Jordan took control over the Old City of Jerusalem in 1948, they refused to allow any Jewish person to enter the area, but in 1967, Israeli Defense Forces liberated the city and reclaimed Jewish control again. Nevertheless, Jews are still not allowed to go up and pray on the Mountain of the Lord. Legally there is freedom of movement on the Temple Mount, yet Israeli law does not permit Jews to pray there so as not to offend Muslims.
Over the decades and in particular the recent months, Palestinian leaders have disseminated unfounded rumors that Israel plans to change the status quo to allow Jews to ascend and worship. It has been used as an excuse to perpetuate brutal attacks on Israeli citizens; the latest wave of renewed aggression has occurred in what is being called the stabbing intifada in which many Israeli citizens have perished or have been left maimed.
Now, the “Arabic names only“ resolution adopted by UNESCO makes no consideration for the Biblical, Historical and Hebrew facts and ties to the area. Clearly using the Palestinian revisionist version; the resolution calls Israel the “occupying power” and doesn’t refer to The Temple Mount, only using the Arabic. It does refer to the Western Wall Plaza, but puts it in quotation marks as if to discount it and refers to the Arabic name only. This sentiment is based on the old lie that Jews have no rights to this part of the world.
In a strongly worded letter; Israeli’s Foreign Ministry director, Dore Gold has “complained about the attempt to erase the Jewish connection to the capital of the Jewish people Jerusalem, and to Jewish holy places”. He said, “We will not allow international actors to blur the Jewish connection to its eternal capital.” Even Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid wrote a letter to say that the resolution is “a part of a sustained political campaign against the State of Israel and the Jewish people.
In response, UNESCO chief Irina Bokova has called for “respect and dialogue,” as she thinks this will calm anger and tensions.
Click here to watch a video explaining more about the recent conflict over the Temple Mount.
There is a petition to protest this resolution.