SWC: UNESCO Vote to erase Western Wall from Jewish history contradicts Supreme Muslim Council’s Declaration that Temple Mounts’ Connection to Solomon’s Temple “is beyond dispute”

October 13, 2016

Senior officials of the Simon Wiesenthal Center currently in Jerusalem denounced today’s vote by UNESCO erasing the Jewish identity of the Western Wall, at the base of the Temple Mount.

This outrageous move has one motivation—to try to erase the Jewish people’s age-old links to its holiest sites,” declared Rabbis Marvin Hier, Dean and Founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the leading Jewish Human Rights NGO. “We take some solace from the fact that no Europeans backed the resolution and that important nations including India and Argentina abstained. However the passage of this resolution will be seen by many as encouraging and validating more Palestinian terror attacks on Israeli civilians,” Hier and Cooper added.
 
“This cynical political move at the UN agency that is supposed to avoid politics, is based on a bald-faced lie. Indeed, the official guide to the Temple Mount (Al Haram Al Sharif) published annually by the Supreme Muslim Council from 1924-1954 stated that the connection of Solomon’s Temple and King David to that holy space was “beyond dispute.
 
When contacted by Center officials, the office of UNESCO Director General reiterated her recent statements denouncing the anti-Jewish campaign:

"The heritage of Jerusalem is indivisible, and each of its communities have a right to the explicit recognition of their history and relationship with the city. To deny or conceal any of the Jewish, Christian or Muslim traditions undermines the integrity of the site, and runs counter to the reasons that justified its inscription in 1981 as a World Heritage site."
"This requirement is stronger than ever, when the city of Jerusalem is witnessing violence, fueling divisions and harming the multi-faith character of the Old City. I am concerned about the way physical violence is being associated with symbolic violence, as well as the will to erase history and instrumentalize culture".
 
"Jerusalem is a Holy Land of the three monotheistic religions, a place of dialogue for all Jewish, Christian and Muslim people, nothing should be undertaken to alter its integrity and authenticity…It is a mosaic of cultures and peoples, whose history has shaped the history of all humanity. Only respect and dialogue can build the trust we need to move forward -- this is the strength of UNESCO, for the benefit of all."
 
Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Wiesenthal Center’s Director of International Relations is scheduled to be present at the vote later today.

For more information contact 0524-316-448 or +1310-210-9750 or +1-310-487-2007, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter feed.
 
The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).