It is absurd and astounding.
Last week, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) approved a resolution designed to eradicate the Jewish connection from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Referring to this site revered by Jews, Christians, and Muslims by only by its Arab name, UNESCO’s Executive Board simultaneously snubbed the fact that this site includes the Western Wall, a remnant of the Biblical temple, and the fact that this is the holiest site where Jews can pray. This decision amounts to a victory for one of the world’s leading sponsors of terror, Hamas, a Gaza-based Islamic Militant group that has sworn its allegiance to a narrative that is premised on the destruction of Israel.
As Charles Krauthammer observes, UNESCO’s resolution is simply “an Orwellian absurdity” that “makes a mockery of the Gospels, which chronicle the story of a Galilean Jew whose life and ministry unfolded throughout the Holy Land, most especially in Jerusalem and the Temple.” World history unequivocally shows that Islam did not exist until hundreds of years later.
Beyond Biblical and world history, it is unquestionably clear that the legal title of the Jewish people to the mandated territory of Israel and Palestine in all of its historical dimensions was first acknowledged and recognized under modern international law on April 20, 1920, when the Supreme Council of the Principal Allied Powers approved the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917. Approval by the Allied powers gave international legal effect to the Balfour Declaration and to thousands of years of Biblical history, which preceded the creation of international law. The Allied Supreme Council decision converted the Balfour Declaration, which had only been a statement of Great Britain’s future intentions, into a binding legal document.
In sharp contrast with such history and international law, UNESCO’s resolution corresponds with the determination of proponents of the Boycott, Divestiture and Sanctions (BDS) campaign to marginalize Israel. This campaign ignores the tragically troubled history of the world, which includes a century of horrors ranging from Nazism, the uniqueness of the Holocaust, and communism to the surfacing of Arab states staggering under the weight of plutocracy and nepotism that is bolstered by bloated bureaucracies.
UNESCO’s resolution is part of the BDS effort to demonize and delegitimize Israel, therefore imposing a fatal reputational wound on the only democracy in the Middle East. This move disregards the fact that over the past 70 years, the Arab world made every attempt to rid its lands of Jewish people (roughly totaling 900,000) while holding on to its hatred of them. This course of conduct preceded the creation of the state of Israel and represents the Arab world’s perpetual search for scapegoats, a process that corresponds with the capacity of the region’s dictators to adroitly channel public frustration toward external “enemies” and away from their own misrule.
UNESCO’s pernicious resolution is designed to eradicate Jewish history from Jerusalem. It correlates with the Palestinian Authority’s current pledge to expel Israelis from Palestinian areas, once it establishes its rule over areas that are controlled by the nation of Israel. This resolution also parallels BDS proponents’ attempts to spread rather than shrink anti-Semitism, by transforming Jews who face an existential threat from their neighbors into alleged advocates of injustice as a prelude to (1) the expungement of Jewish and Biblical history from the Middle East and (2) a surreal effort to expel Jews from Israel.
This profoundly inhumane absurdity fails to comply with elementary norms of justice, international law, or global history. This resolution demands an immediate and unconditional rejection by the Obama Administration. Rejection, which is richly justified, may be in doubt. Recent experience exposes the Obama Administration’s craven and politically correct decision to “correct” a news release about last month’s funeral of Shimon Peres by expunging the word “Israel.” The Administration’s original news release identified the location as “Mount Herzl, Jerusalem, Israel.” But the Obama Administration’s subsequent capitulation to political correctness indicates that President Obama is prepared to lead from behind, especially when it comes to protecting Israel.
Rejecting UNESCO’s resolution as well as the Administration’s fecklessness, the American people should demand that President Obama spurn his predisposition to support the United Nations and instead stand with America’s most reliable ally in the Middle East.
History demands no less.
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