UNESCO adopted an anti-Israel resolution on Thursday that disregards Judaism’s historic connection to the Temple Mount and casts doubt on the link between Judaism and the Western Wall.
Four countries voted in favour of the decision, six voted against and 26 abstained, while just two were missing from the vote.
The U.S., Britain, Germany, The Netherlands, Lithuania and Estonia voted against the resolution.
A senior source said that the efforts of Israeli diplomats significantly changed the votes of European states, none of which supported the motion. Israeli efforts, he said, succeeded in swaying France, Sweden, Slovenia, Argentina, Togo and India to abstain from the vote.
The resolution, which condemns Israel on several issues regarding Jerusalem and its holy sites, was advanced by the Palestinians alongside Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar and Sudan.
It asserted that Jerusalem is holy to the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Islam and Christianity. However, it includes a special section dealing with the Temple Mount, which says the site is sacred only to Muslims and fails to mention that it is sacred to the Jews as well. In fact, it mentions neither the Hebrew term for the site – Har HaBayit – nor its English equivalent, the Temple Mount. The site is referred to only by its Muslim names – Al-Aqsa Mosque and Haram al-Sharif.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu slammed the decision as “absurd theatre”, adding: “to say that Israel has no connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall is like saying that China has no connection to the Great Wall of China and that Egypt has no connection to the Pyramids.”
“With this absurd decision, UNESCO lost the little legitimisation it had left. But I believe that the historical truth is stronger and the truth will win,” he said.