The Palestinians are attacking Israel via the U.N., specifically UNESCO, where they are trying to use the U.N. to make the Western Wall in Jerusalem a Muslim holy site. Fortunately, the United States and the UNESCO director herself has bashed the resolution as an incitement to violence and stands against it completely:
JERUSALEM POST – UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and the United States bashed as incitement to violence the draft text of a resolution which seeks to reclassify the Western Wall in Jerusalem —the most sacred public prayer site in Judaism — as a holy Muslim site.
The US warned that the resolution threatened to alter the status quo of Holy sites, such as the Temple Mount, where the Western Wall is located.
“The United States strongly opposes this resolution and any such use of international fora such as UNESCO to inflame tension in the region and alter the status quo at the Holy Sites,” Edgar Vasquez, a State Department spokesperson, told The Jerusalem Post.
“The United States is in close, urgent consultation with UNESCO member states, UNESCO leadership, and Israel to discuss this matter.” “One-sided anti-Israel resolutions have been a recurring challenge at UNESCO since 2009,” Vasquez continued, “and in all such circumstances the United States has blocked consensus on such resolutions by calling for a vote and voting against the texts.”
Bokova and the US issued their statements in advance of Wednesday’s highly publicized vote by UNESCO’s Executive Board in Paris on a draft resolution, which “affirms that the Buraq Plaza [the Western Wall] is an integral part of al-Aksa Mosque/al-Haram al-Sharif.”
While the US often stands with Israel against pro-Palestinian resolutions in UN bodies, it is unusual for a UN official to bash such initiatives.
A statement put out by the sectary general’s office said that Bokova “appeals to the UNESCO Executive Board to take decisions that do not further inflame tensions on the ground and that encourage respect for the sanctity of the Holy Sites.”
Her office added that the resolution “could be seen to alter the status of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls, inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list” and “could further incite tensions.”
Israel isn’t happy about it either, as you might imagine:
TIMES OF ISRAEL – Israel said Monday that it is working to thwart a Palestinian bid to have the Western Wall in Jerusalem declared a Muslim holy site by the UN’s cultural body in a vote on Tuesday.
In a statement, the Foreign Ministry called the proposal “an attempt to distort history and blur the connection between the Jewish people and its holiest place and to create a false reality.”
The Western Wall is one of the few remnants of the ancient retaining wall that held up an artificial plateau on which a refurbished Second Temple stood in the reign of King Herod the Great. The Temple and much of the wall were later destroyed by the Romans in 70 C.E.
For Jews, who are forbidden from praying on the Temple Mount by Israeli regulations, the Western Wall is the prayer site closest to the ancient site of the Holy of Holies inside the destroyed Temple. It is considered the holiest site where Jews are allowed to pray.
The proposal to recognize the adjoining Western Wall as a Muslim holy site was submitted by six Muslim countries on behalf of the Palestinians, according to a Ynet news report.
I suspect the vote won’t go through with such strong opposition. I’m just glad we are on the right side of this vote and I hope I don’t find out any different later.