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The UN’s Heritage Heist

By Ziva Dahl, Originally published in the New York Observer

UNESCO recently adopted a resolution that completely ignores the Jewish historical, religious and Biblical ties to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall area in Jerusalem. To promote the Palestinian narrative that these sites are Muslim, it refers to the Temple Mount as “al-Aksa Mosque/al-Haram al Sharif” and the Western Wall area as “al-Buraq Plaza,” a term created in the 1920s by Arabs.

The Temple Mount, while important to three religions, is the holiest site in Judaism, the place where Isaac was brought for sacrifice, where the Holy of Holies and the Ark of the Covenant housing both sets of the stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments once stood, where King Solomon built the First Temple almost 3,000 years ago and where, after it was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE, the Second Temple was built. Following the Roman destruction in 70 CE, only one outer wall remained standing and, for 2,000 years, that Western Wall has been the epicenter of the Jewish world, symbolic of the centrality of Jerusalem for more than 900 generations of Jews.

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