The Executive Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has adopted a document concerning “occupied Palestine.” It was drafted by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan.
UNESCO’s anti-Israel bias is so severe that Jerusalem does not grant visas to representatives of this organization. This latest document is further evidence of why, as it “deeply regrets,” “deeply deplores” and “strongly condemns” the “Occupying Power” exercising sovereignty over the Temple Mount and the Old City of Jerusalem.
To justify such a misnomer as Israel’s “occupation” of the Temple Mount, UNESCO has adopted the Muslim narrative that systematically erases any piece of evidence proving the Jewish bond to the Temple Mount and to the Land of Israel as a whole.
In fact, throughout the document, the “Temple Mount” is not mentioned once. As if the Jewish name for this holy place were mere fiction, the document refers to it only as “Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif.” Even the Western Wall has been made a victim of UNESCO’s revisionism and called only by its Muslim name, “Al-Buraq Plaza.”
Concealing the fact that the Jewish Temple existed for hundreds of years in Jerusalem goes far beyond the demand to create a Palestinian state in the “occupied territories.” Indeed, it goes without saying that if the holiest Jewish site is under “occupation,” then Israel is nothing but a colonial power, and not only in Jerusalem, but in the whole of the Holy Land.
If the Temple Mount is not a Jewish site, how could one say that Jews have the right to live in places like Tel Aviv, which only loosely, if at all, have Jewish religious significance? It follows that if Israel occupies the Temple Mount, it also occupies Tel Aviv.
The recent apology by British Labor MP Naz Shah, who in 2014 suggested that Israeli Jews be transferred to America, is but the latest example of how this line of reasoning brings millions to the conclusion that Israel is at best a non-sustainable Western colony.
Therefore, the two-state solution can only be a half-house, a temporary solution leading to the final one in which Israel ceases to exist.
The danger in validating the Muslim/Palestinian narrative has been clear ever since Israel gained control over the Temple Mount in 1967.
One of Israel’s most respected poets and columnists, Nathan Alterman, in 1970 harshly criticized Labor Party members for beginning to sympathize with the idea of a “Palestinian people.” Alterman astutely observed:
“By adopting this factitious notion we are turning the beehive over our right to exist in this land… At the moment we accept the national Palestinian fiction, from that moment Zionism as a whole becomes a matter of robbing a country from the hands of an existing people, and to the extent that we help root this idea in the world and in our own innerconsciousness, we are shaking the historical and human foundation of Zionism, thus placing it only on our bayonets.
“…If indeed we acknowledge the existence of a Palestinian Arab nation, then not only the ‘occupied territories’ are Arab territories upon which we shed our blood until the inevitable withdrawal, but also the state of Israel is an Arab territory… If there is an Arab nation who is fighting for its country, then our protests lose their meaning. International law and morality deem terror illegal as long as we say it is a tool in the hands of the Arab countries against us. But from the moment it becomes the weapon of the Palestinian people … who are fighting for their national existence, none of the pejoratives in which we describe their bloody actions would help us.”
Israel rightly condemns UNESCO’s attempt to erase the Jewish (biblical) history of the Temple mount. This protest, however, rings hollow when, in the name of realpolitik, Israel itself severely restricts the Jewish presence on the Mount and openly commits itself to the two-state solution.
Israel’s readiness to hand over the Temple Mount to the Palestinians is seen by the world as evidence of a state that places no value in its own historical heritage, and therefore has little right to exist.
It is time for Israelis to realize that by demoting the Temple Mount to a piece of real estate, they are bolstering UNESCO’s efforts to prove that Israel is a colonial power that has no right to exist in the Promised Land.