Knesset speaker asks Vatican to help fight UNESCO decisions
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Knesset speaker asks Vatican to help fight UNESCO decisions

In letter, Yuli Edelstein requests cooperation to prevent further ‘assaults on history’; Pope, in speech on migrants, recalls the Israelites’ 40-year walk to ‘the land promised by God’

Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein meets with Pope Francis in Rome, January 17, 2015. (Knesset spokesperson)
Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein meets with Pope Francis in Rome, January 17, 2015. (Knesset spokesperson)

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) has asked the Vatican for its help in preventing anti-Israel UNESCO decisions — like the one passed Wednesday in which Jewish and Christian ties to the Temple Mount — from occurring again.

In a letter to the Secretary of State for the Vatican Cardinal Pietro Parolin following the UNESCO vote, Edelstein requested the help of the Holy See “to prevent the recurrence of developments of this sort.”

Edelstein wrote that the UNESCO vote was “an assault on history and deeply offensive to both Christianity and Judaism.”

“The denial of the historicity of the two Jerusalem Temples and the Temple Mount as recounted in both the Old and New Testaments is a terrible indictment of the international community when repeatedly adopted by a UN body,” he said.

Edelstein added that “it is now high time to ensure that that the international community adopts another resolution that reaffirms Jerusalem as a holy city for all monotheistic religions, a city where the two Temples stood and from which the Word of G-d was first promulgated to humanity by our prophets.”

Edelstein requested the Vatican’s help “in the name of the Land and the People of the Bible.”

עוד בדיחה עצובה של אונסק"ו. החלטת ועדת המורשת שלהם לאשר את ההצעה הפלסטינית, לפיה ישראל 'פוגעת במקומות הקדושים ובחופש דת'…

Posted by ‎Yuli Edelstein – יולי אדלשטיין‎ on Wednesday, 26 October 2016

On Wednesday, Deputy Minister for Regional Cooperation Ayoub Kara (Likud) met with Pope Francis outside the Vatican, after the pontiff gave a speech at Saint Peter’s Square in the city largely focused on the issue of refuge and migration. Francis urged for compassion and mercy in the face of the global refugee crisis brought on by conflict, especially the civil war in Syria.

The pope said the Bible “provides many concrete examples of migration,” choosing the story of Abraham, “who heeds God’s call to leave his country for another: ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.‘”

Likud minister Ayoub Kara meets with Pope Francis at Saint Peter's Square in the Vatican, October 26, 2016. Screenshot/Israel Hayom)
Likud minister Ayoub Kara meets with Pope Francis at Saint Peter’s Square in the Vatican, October 26, 2016. Screenshot/Israel Hayom)

“The people of Israel, who from Egypt, where they were enslaved, walked through the desert for forty years until they reached the land promised by God,” he said, giving another example. “Even the Holy Family– Mary, Joseph and the child Jesus – was forced to emigrate to flee the threat of Herod, and remained in Egypt until the monarch’s death.”

“The story of humanity is the story of migrations,” said the pope.

After his speech, Pope Francis spoke briefly in the Square with Kara, who thanked him for his “decision that Israel is a promising [sic] from God to the Jewish nation” apparently interpreting the remarks as an affirmation from the pope of the connection between the Jewish people and the land of Israel.

Kara thanked the Pope for his support of Israel and told reporters that “it is impossible to ignore the clear affinity and connection between Christianity and Judaism” and that the “UNESCO decision [earlier Wednesday] constitutes an attack upon them.”

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