UN agency voting today on making Western Wall a Muslim holy site
UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, is to vote today on a resolution assigning the holiest site in Judaism status as a Muslim holy site. If the resolution passes, the imprimatur of the United Nations will be given to the efforts of Muslims to deny the historical reality that the Temple Mount in Jerusalem was the site of the First and Second Temples of Judaism, only to be conquered by Muslims, and appropriated as their holy site, through the construction of the Dome of the Rock.
The Western Wall, sometimes called the “Wailing Wall,” is the holiest site in Judaism, the remnant of the First and Second Temples, the first destroyed by the Babylonians and the Second by the Roman legions in 70 C.E. following a revolt against Roman rule. Six centuries later, following the conquest of Jerusalem by the Umayyad Caliphate, the holy site was appropriated by Muslims as the place from which their tradition asserts that Mohammed launched his Night Journey, a spiritual and physical round trip in the course of one night to the “farthest mosque,” where he speaks with the prophets, and to heaven, where he speaks with Allah. On the ruins of the Second Temple, the Umayyads constructed the Dome of the Rock, which still stands on the original site of the First and Second Temples.
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.
The proposal also calls for the international community to condemn Israel for urging “its citizens to bear arms in light of [the] recent terror wave,” as well as for recent actions by Israel and the Israel Defense Forces in Jerusalem. The document, a copy of which was obtained by Ynet, refers to Jerusalem as “the occupied capital of Palestine.”
In addition, the Palestinians seek condemnation of ongoing Israeli archaeological excavations near the Temple Mount and in Jerusalem’s Old City, as well as of the “aggression and illegal measures taken against the freedom of worship and access of Muslims to Al-Aqsa Mosque and Israel’s attempts to break the status quo since 1967.”
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely denounced the bid on Monday.
“This shameful and deceitful Palestinian attempt to rewrite history will fail the test of reality,” Hotovely said.
The Likud lawmaker said her ministry is making every effort to see that the bid is voted down by UNESCO on Tuesday.
The proposal is largely expected to pass, as most of UNESCO’s 58 members traditionally support the Palestinian cause.
Both the U.S. and Israel withdrew their funding from UNESCO when it admitted “Palestine” as a member and subsequently lost the right to vote in it.
Hat tip: Clarice Feldman