Lauder: Declaring Western Wall a Muslim site would make mockery of UNESCO principles

World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder today warned UNESCO against exacerbating tensions in Israel by adopting a Palestinian-sponsored resolution that declares the Western Wall in Jerusalem a part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. 

Ahead of a vote by the UNESCO Executive Council later this week, Lauder said the proposal “goes in the face of the UNESCO Constitution, which very clearly states the organization’s aim to contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration and coexistence. It would make a mockery of that founding principle if the UNESCO Executive Council were to back such a resolution. UNESCO must not be turned into a battleground for conflicts between religions.”

The WJC president added: “For thousands of years, Jews have lived and prayed in Jerusalem. Since 1967, the State of Israel has safeguarded the right of worship of all three monotheistic religions present in Jerusalem, including the right of Muslims to pray on the Mount. 

“However, declaring the Western Wall of the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest place, a Muslim site would be a travesty. Instead of fostering peace, it would only encourage extremists to step up their campaign against Jews, both in Israel and beyond.”

Lauder appealed to all 58 member countries on the UNESCO Executive to vote against the proposal: “Everybody should see that this is not about protecting holy sites; it’s about bashing Israel, it’s about sowing the seeds of strife, and it’s about legitimizing violence. It must be stopped.”

The proposal, which is sponsored by six Arab states (Algeria, Egypt, Kuwait, Morocco, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates) on behalf of the Palestinians, proposes to declare that the Western Wall is part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and called Buraq Plaza. 

It also blames Israel for the recent wave of Palestinian violence and terror, urges that the Jewish state is condemned for the excavations near the Temple Mount and in the Old City of Jerusalem, and for what is termed the “aggression and illegal measures taken against the freedom of worship and access of Muslim to al-Aqsa Mosque and Israel's attempts to break the status quo since 1967". 

Moreover, the draft resolution seeks to confirm an earlier UNESCO decision that the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel's Tomb, two West Bank sites holy to both Jews and Muslims, are part of a Palestinian state.

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Len Karp

Tue, 20 Oct 2015

In light of the UN recent history of stacking the deck against the State of Israel, it is likely in my view, that the resolution will be adopted. Another smack in the face to Israel, Jews and peace. Israel will probably ignore it if it passes and the violence will grow to the further condemnation of Israel. World leaders should take note that Israel will protect their soverenty and interests at all costs regardless of the consequences to European and U.S. conemnation. When was the last time in history that the world politic really cared about the interests of a Jew ?

rita lutzer

Mon, 19 Oct 2015

With all the contributions, the Jews have made thruout their history, in every life endeavor , especially medicine and is amazing that the anti semitic world seems to be winning in their violent and terroristic fight against Israel....what have the Palestinians contributed to the world....war and murder


Mon, 19 Oct 2015

Too many banana republics/kingdoms where "inhuman rights" are the acceptable norms are now part of the UN!

Mohamed never set foot in I am puzzled by the strong "attachment" Muslims have To Har HaBayit and other Jewish religious Holy sites.

Members of the Palestinian Muslm "law abiding" entity recently put Joseph's Tomb on fire. How long will it take these same "honorable" respectful people to destroy any Holy Jewish vestige they grab???? And how long will it take ISIS to turn them into destroyed Palmyras?

Lyn Rubenstein

Mon, 19 Oct 2015

I applaud your comments. This is the reason there can never be a two-state solution. Muslims do not want to live in peace beside Jews. They want to drive the Jews to the sea, as has been said on numerous occasions, even if it is done on a piecemeal basis, by taking our holiest place of worship. Should this come about, Israel should forbid Muslims from going to the Temple Mount and the Al-Aqsa Mosque because the Temple Mount is our holy site. The Muslims have 9 gates they go through to pray. Should Muslims be allowed to pray at the Western Wall, those 9 gates for the Al-Aqsa Mosque should all be closed off to Muslims by Israeli police/military until Muslims are forbidden to pray at the Western Wall, The Western Wall is only for Jews and Jews will NEVER AGAIN be intimidated by anyone!

Robert Bosch

Mon, 19 Oct 2015

I am sincerely of the opinion that the Vatican should be made part of the Al-Aqsa mosque!

Robert Bosch

Mon, 19 Oct 2015

Why the Western Wall? Why not declare the Vatican part of the Al-Aqsa mosque?

A Zionist

Mon, 19 Oct 2015

IMHO, I think the WJC must do more than make speeches. This is an act of violence against Jews, Judaism and the Jewish State of Israel.

Unless Jewish organisations start to make countries uncomfortable, the Arab/Muslim majority will continue to insult western democracies and deny their very rights to exist. What will prevent the Muslim countries claiming that every country where Muslims live, now belong to Islam.

Unfortunately, the weak and wobbly Jewish organisations make polite conversations, while doing nothing to stop the attacks on us.

By the time the Jewish organisations decide, there will be "no one left to stand up" to these anti-Israel bullies.

Irina Bokova caved into Arab pressure when she stopped the opening of a UNESCO sponsored exhibition, under the direction of the late Professor Robert Wistrich. When it finally opened in Paris, absent were the panels showing Arab antisemitism, along with the change of name from Israel to Holy Land, which is a Christian term.

In her defence, Bokova did allow the exhibition which showed the 3,500 year link between the Jewish PEOPLE and the Land of Israel.

Every pressure must be made to ENABLE Bokova to dismiss this proposal on the grounds that it is political anti-Israel antisemitism.

Joel Stinberger

Mon, 19 Oct 2015

Preserving the Wall as the holiest religious site of Judaism is an absolute. To change its status will be the last straw, a "red line" which, if crossed, must call for a declaration of war. No outside body of Jew haters can be allowed to dictate the most sacred aspects of our faith. The pro-Arab United Nations cannot change thousands of years of Jewish history and yearning. It is time for the Jewish State to express its outrage at the hypocrisy it suffers in the world. Keeping our head down and making a "low profile" just doesn't work any more to satisfy them. It never did, and it is high time for us Jews to express our anger and be outspoken each and every time a wrong-doing is perpetrated against us..

Peter Plotke

Mon, 19 Oct 2015

It's time to kick the UN out of New York. A home in Damascus or Teheran would be more fitting.

Val Forrest

Mon, 19 Oct 2015

The United Nations has become a travesty of the high ideals the architects of the charter had in mind. God be with Israel as promised in the bible.


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