In news so bizarre it could only be yet another chapter in the world’s anti-Semitic hate for Israel, a U.N. agency is poised to designate the Jewish “Wailing Wall” as an Islamic holy site.
Yes, you read that right.
The U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is reported voting on a measure to designate the Wailing Wall, the western wall of the Temple Mount – one of the Jewish people’s most holy sites – as an Islamic (and as such not Jewish) holy site.
As CNS News reports:
The flashpoint is the Temple Mount, where the biblical Temples once stood. It is the holiest site in Judaism, but also is home to the Al-Aqsa mosque, Islam’s third holiest.
Due to Muslim opposition Jews are forbidden to hold formal prayer at the Muslim-administered site, although they may visit. That “status quo” has been in place since Israel captured the area from Jordan in 1967. Jews pray instead at the Western Wall – the remnant of a retaining wall on the western flank of the hilltop that once housed the biblical Temples.
The UNESCO measure due to be voted on on Tuesday reportedly declares that the Western Wall is part of Al-Aqsa mosque.
This is a blatantly anti-Israel move and a slap in the face to the Jewish people.
Israel rightfully argues that this action would “distort history.” The Wailing Wall is incontrovertibly a historic, cultural, and religious icon of the Jewish people. In fact, it has almost no relevance or relation to the Islamic faith whatsoever. As reports indicate:
Last summer, UNESCO’s world heritage committee adopted a controversial resolution that referred to the area adjacent to the Western Wall as the “Buraq plaza.”
The name derives from the Muslim claim that Mohammed tethered his legendary winged steed, al-Buraq, there during his “night journey” from Mecca to heaven.
(There is no historical record of Mohammed ever having visited Jerusalem, but the Qur’an says that he traveled in one night from “the sacred mosque” in Arabia to “the farthest mosque.” There, according to Islamic tradition, he led prayers with a congregation including Adam, Noah and Joseph, before ascending to heaven. Muslim scholars say that occurred in Jerusalem; Masjid al-Aqsa is Arabic for “the farthest mosque.”)
It is exactly these blatant attacks on Israel that led to the U.S. defunding UNESCO in 2011.
Yet, Secretary of State John Kerry has been on an all-out publicity blitz, campaigning for a slot on UNESCO’s governing board. Even as UNESCO was poised to vote on this outlandish resolution to rewrite history and directly attack the Jewish faith, Secretary Kerry announced just this weekend:
The United States has a great deal to contribute to UNESCO’s work, and I assure you — our commitment to this organization has never been stronger . . . . In standing for re-election, both President (Barack) Obama and I are also pledging to work with our former colleagues in the US Congress, and do all we can to restore US funding to UNESCO in full.
This position represents an absolute abandonment of our ally Israel and Jews across the globe. The Obama Adminstration professes its commitment to religious freedom as it stands by and allows U.N. anti-Semitic hate mongers to pervert the Jewish faith and its holiest landmark.
It’s shameful and appalling; and it must end.
UPDATE 10.22.2015: The provision of the UNESCO resolution declaring the Jewish Wailing Wall an Islamic holy site was dropped on the day of the vote. However, it was replaced with language blaming Israel for “aggression and illegal measures” surrounding the Temple Mount. Despite the removal of the redesignation of the Jewish Wailing Wall, the resulting language passed by UNESCO is still incendiary and just one more example of the U.N.’s anti-Israel bias.