October 13, 2016
The Honorable Members of The United States Senate
The Honorable Members of The United States House of Representatives
Re: Call to Action Regarding Libelous UNESCO Jerusalem Resolution
Dear Madams and Sirs:
Winston Churchill once said that “a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” At the behest of the Palestinian Authority, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has advanced a lie, so significant that it shakes the historical foundation of Judaism and Christianity to the core. I call upon each of you to stand up to UNESCO’s brazen act, which distorts over 5,700 years of history, while advancing the age-old hatred of Jews. As you know, earlier today, October 13, 2016, UNESCO’s Executive Board approved a resolution which completely eviscerates the Jewish people’s ties to the Old City of Jerusalem, the Western Wall, and the Temple Mount in a shameless effort to delegitimize the one and only nation state for the Jewish people, Israel.
Resolution 200 EX/25, “Occupied Palestine,” calls Israel the “occupying power” over the “Old City of Jerusalem and its walls.” In the resolution, UNESCO “deprecates … the creation of a new Jewish prayer platform… [at the] Western Wall Plaza,” “deplores the failure of Israel, the occupying power, to cease persistent excavations… in and around the Old City [of Jerusalem],” “deplores Israel’s decision to approve a plan to build a two-line cable car system in East Jerusalem, and… a visitor centre near the south wall of the Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif [the Temple Mount].” These statements eradicate thousands of years of previously uncontroverted history.
King Solomon built the first Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount in 957 BCE precisely because it was the location of the “foundation stone” upon which the world was created, and where the biblical Isaac was brought for sacrifice by Abraham. The Second Jewish Temple was built on the same site on 515 BCE. (By way of reference, Mohammad was born some 1500 years later in 570 CE.)
The fact that the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque were built on the remnants of the Jewish Temples, also referred to as the Temple Mount, has been undisputed for centuries. In fact, in 1924 the Supreme Muslim Council produced an English-language publication entitled, “A Brief Guide to al-Haram al-Sharif” (a/k/a the Temple Mount), which states: “The site [of the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque] is one of the oldest in the world. Its sanctity dates from the earliest times. Its identity with the site of Solomon’s [Jewish] Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to universal belief, on which David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.”
While the Supreme Muslim Council held that the identity of the site’s historical connection to the Jewish Temples was “beyond dispute,” the Palestinian Authority - and now UNESCO - beg to differ. By alleviating themselves of the shackles of morals and basic history, UNESCO has now denied that which was “beyond dispute,” through the language of this libelous resolution, 200 EX/25.
This is not an isolated incident. Instead, it is part of a persistent, organized and well-funded movement to destroy the State of Israel through a campaign of delegitimatization. This issue is not about being on the right side of history, it is about protecting history. Failure to act is tantamount to acquiescence. UNESCO’s resolution must not, cannot and should not, go unanswered. I call upon you, the honorable members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives to pass a resolution condemning UNESCO for passing this libelous resolution; calling on UNESCO to reconsider and overturn the resolution; and re-affirming the Jewish people’s undisputed historical connection to Jerusalem, the Western Wall, and the Temple Mount.
With great urgency and respect,
/s/ Gabriel Groisman