TEL AVIV – U.S. lawmakers are pressuring UNESCO members to vote against a resolution Wednesday that ignores Jewish and Christian ties to the Temple Mount.
One week after UNESCO’s executive board ratified a resolution ignoring Jewish and Christian ties to the Temple Mount, the body’s World Heritage Committee is slated to vote in Paris on another controversial resolution entitled, “Old City of Jerusalem and Its Walls.”
A group of 10 senators and congressmen said the newest resolution was “yet another attempt to rewrite history by denying Jewish and Christian ties to Jerusalem” in a bipartisan letter initiated by Senator Ted Cruz and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
“The upcoming resolution at the World Heritage Committee is every bit as divisive as the Executive Board resolution, despite Jerusalem’s inscription as a holy city for Judaism, Christianity and Islam on UNESCO’s World Heritage list,” the letter read.
The letter warned that such attempts at denying Jewish and Christian history would only “damage the prospects of peace between Israel and the Palestinians,” and called on the committee’s 21 member states “to respect and protect the religious, cultural, and historical significance of Jerusalem and to uphold the values and ideals enshrined in UNESCO’s Constitution.”
Cruz said the resolution was another “pernicious effort to delegitimize Israel” and urged members to “vote against this resolution that attempts to rewrite thousands of years of Jerusalem’s Jewish identity, which has been scientifically reaffirmed by the archaeological record.”
In an oped for the Washington Times, Cruz took President Barack Obama to task for allowing the resolution to be passed in the first place, slamming the president for putting “his political legacy over the national security interests of the United States — which would be a secure and sovereign Israel.”
“America should be rallying our friends and allies to oppose these insidious UNESCO resolutions that attempt to undermine the historic connection of the Israeli people with all of their country, including their capital, Jerusalem,” Cruz wrote.
Ros-Lehtinen criticized “the continued hypocrisy and repeated attempts by UNESCO members to distort the truth” and lambasted the organization’s members’ efforts “to attack the Jewish State, the only country to respect religious freedom in a region beset by religious violence.”
She accused the UN at large for having an “anti-Israel agenda” that seeks “to delegitimize and isolate the Jewish State.”
The other signatories to the letter are by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.); and Reps. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Kay Granger (R-Texas), Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), and Ed Royce (R-Calif.).