Foreign Ministry director Dore Gold writes an open letter to the United Nations envoys of various countries blasting the UN cultural body’s World Heritage Committee, which is set to vote on a controversial draft resolution challenging Jewish historical ties to the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount and calling for a return to the “historic status quo” on the holy site.
A similar resolution was adopted by the organization’s executive board in April, a move that infuriated Israel.
“Again, UNESCO is considering the adoption of a completely one-sided draft resolution on the Old City of Jerusalem that deliberately ignores the historical connection between the Jewish people and their ancient capital,” Gold writes in his letter. “The resolution also fails to acknowledge Christianity’s ties to Jerusalem. It refers to the area of the Temple Mount only as a ‘Muslim holy site of worship.’”
The letter goes on to detail the Jewish people’s historic connection to the city and argues that Israel “defends religious freedom for all of the great faiths – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – against the tide of intolerance sweeping the Middle East region.”
It says that “UNESCO’s adoption of utterly false allegations about Israeli archaeological practices is misplaced and hypocritical, at best” and urges the UN envoys to “oppose this effort to distort history.”
— Times of Israel staff contributed