UNESCO Votes to Erase Judaism’s Holiest Sites - Western Wall and Temple Mount

Simon Wiesenthal Center
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“The passage of this resolution will be seen by many as encouraging and validating more Palestinian terror attacks on Israeli civilians”
– Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper


Today's vote by UNESCO erasing the Jewish identity of the Western Wall was denounced by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The vote was led by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan with 24 countries voting in favor of the resolution, 6 countries against and 28 abstaining. 

  • Dr. Shimon Samuels, SWC Internationals Relations Director was at UNESCO during the vote - he spoke to ambassadors before and after the voting took place.

  • Center officials contacted the office of UNESCO Director General Bokova where she reiterated her recent statements denouncing the anti-Jewish campaign.

  • No European countries backed the resolution and important nations including India and Argentina abstained. Diplomats of many of those nations were lobbied by the SWC  in advance of the vote.

  • The official guide to the Temple Mount (Al Haram Al Sharif) published annually by the Supreme Muslim Council from 1924-1954 openly states that the connection of Solomon’s Temple and King David to The Temple Mount is “beyond dispute".

  • Dr. Samuels will soon represent the SWC in Paris at the World Heritage Committee where similar resolutions will be presented - the SWC is the only Jewish organization represented at the World Heritage Committee, the arm of UNESCO which seeks to protect key historic, cultural and religious sites around the world.

    Photo: Dr. Samuels at the World Heritage Committee meeting in Instanbul earlier this year

The SWC will keep you updated on these and related developments in the weeks to come.