Netanyahu Slams ‘Absurd’ UNESCO Motion Erasing Jewish Ties to Temple Mount

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prays on March 18, 2015 at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem following his party Likud's victory in Israel's general election. Netanyahu swept to a stunning election victory, securing a third straight term for an Israeli leader who has deepened tensions with the Palestinians and infuriated …

The Times of Israel reports: Furious Israeli politicians accused the UN’s cultural arm of anti-Semitism Thursday in the wake of a resolution approved by UNESCO that erases the Jewish connection to Jerusalem holy sites.

Lawmakers from both the right and left of the political spectrum said the decision, which refers to the Temple Mount and Western Wall only by their Muslim names and condemns Israel as “the occupying power” for various actions taken in both places, was ill-befitting of UNESCO.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the decision “absurd,” while President Reuven Rivlin called it an “embarrassment” for UNESCO. The Executive Board of UNESCO is next week set to approve the resolution, which passed Thursday at the committee stage.

Culture Minister Miri Regev slammed the resolution as “shameful and anti-Semitic,” and Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel called for Israel to increase the Jewish presence on the Temple Mount, a flashpoint site governed by a tense status quo, in response.

“To say that Israel has no link to the Temple Mount is like saying that China has no link to the Great Wall or that Egypt has no connection to the Pyramids,” Netanyahu said, adding that “with this absurd decision UNESCO has lost what little legitimacy it still had.”

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