Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold sent a scathing letter to the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization on Monday (UNESCO), criticizing a draft UNESCO resolution that Gold said ignores the historical bond between the Jewish people and the city of Jerusalem.
UNESCO’s 21-member World Heritage Committee is set to vote on the resolution, a joint Palestinian-Jordanian initiative, during its annual meeting in Istanbul, which began next Sunday and runs through that week. The resolution calls for a return to the “historic status quo” on the Temple Mount.
In his letter, Gold wrote, “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. 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.’”
Gold added, “Today, it is Israel that defends religious freedom for all of the great faiths—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—against the tide of intolerance sweeping the Middle East region….We urge you to oppose this effort to distort history, which will offend the members of the Jewish and Christian faiths, and undermine the credibility of UNESCO in the future.”