The Reconstructionist Rabbinical College condemns today’s United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Jerusalem resolution that functionally erases the historical presence of Judaism on the Temple Mount. The resolution ignores the existence of ancient Israel’s connection to the Temple Mount, and Israeli leaders on the left and right have objected to it strongly. We appreciate the U.S.’s vote against the resolution, which a White House spokesperson called “one-sided,” “unhelpful,” and “highly politicized.”
Several veteran advocates for peace and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians have also condemned the UNESCO resolution, pointing out that blatant historical dishonesty only serves to worsen the conflict. Israel’s President, Reuven Rivlin, has pointed out that UNESCO, an international organization committed to the preservation of world heritage sites and education about them, only serves to undermine itself and its mission with this statement. Tzipi Livni (Member of Knesset – Zionist Union party) wrote UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova the following: “We can argue and critique policies, but when it comes to the historical facts connecting the Jewish People to these holy sites, there can be no politics.”
We ask world leaders to condemn this action and urge UNESCO to rescind it.