The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem is fuming over a draft decision distributed on Thursday by representatives of the European Union at meetings of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee in Istanbul on the subject of the Israeli capital’s Old City that completely ignores the Jewish connection to the site.
The proposal is an alternative to the Jordanian-Palestinian one announced earlier this week. The Europeans distributed a document that allegedly partially softens this draft but still completely accepts the Palestinian narrative that the site that includes the Al-Aqsa Mosque is a site holy to Muslims alone.
While the European draft does mention the Western Wall outside of scare quotes, unlike the Palestinian version, sources in Jerusalem claim that the Europeans’ proposal denies the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount, despite France’s apology and admission of a mistake in supporting the UNESCO proposal in April that did the same.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon tweeted, “denying Jewish Jerusalem n Temple Mount amounts to denying the roots of Christian Europe. Will EU members agree to that? Crazy ..”
Amb. Carmel Shama Hacohen, Israel’s representative to UNESCO who is in Istanbul and leading efforts against the European initiative, said, “A European consensus in favor of severing the Jewish connection with the Temple Mount is a new record for hypocrisy.”
During the committee’s debate, Shama Hacohen asked the Palestinian representative, Amb. Mounir Anastas, why the Palestinians were not prepared to recognize the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount and add the Jewish term “Temple Mount” alongside the Palestinian “Al-Haram Al-Sharif.” Anastas replied, that if the Palestinians recognized the Temple Mount as such, the Palestinian president and Jordanian king would become ISIS’s top target.
The Israeli ambassador answered, “The historical connection of the Jewish people to the Temple Mount is not dependent on the desires and threats of ISIS just like it’s not dependent on the will or decision of foreign countries and international organizations. The Palestinians the Jordanians should thank God for the Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount that grants them and the place full freedom of religion and complete protection from ISIS and the destruction that it’s sowing on cultural and religious heritage sites throughout the East.”
The Foreign Ministry was also angry with the European Union for its decision to open offices in Tehran. It released a statement saying, “The opening of an EU office in Iran is a grave mistake. Iran’s behavior has not changed. It is the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism. It funds murder throughout the Middle East. It hangs gays and brutally represses its own people.
“Iran brazenly violates its international obligations while literally emblazoning its missiles with ‘Israel will be wiped out.’ Iran recently appointed a cleric head of the Assembly of Experts who calls for the destruction of both Israel and America. Iran should not be rewarded as it spreads murder and mayhem across the world.”