Today, on the 69th anniversary of our independence, the UNESCO had the audacity to insult us by a miserable vote on an anti-Israel resolution, designed to take place on our national day.
The resolution on the status of Jerusalem was passed by 22 countries who voted in favor. There were 23 abstentions, 10 countries opposed, and 3 countries missing from the vote.
In this “revised” edition of the infamous resolution proposed by Arab and Muslim nations, the Jewish holy places were not mentioned by Arabic names. All holy sites in Jerusalem, Hebron and Bethlehem were designated as holy to the three monotheistic religions…. despite the historical fact that they were originally only Jewish holy places.
On an encouraging note, it was a pleasant surprise to see more countries opposing the resolution than had been at the initial UNESCO assembly. Countries in Europe, Africa and South America voted against the resolution, proof of our growing ties with those nations, thanks to the tireless efforts of our Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu.
But I must ask a burning question: are we somehow not to blame for the resolution defining Jerusalem, east and west, as Palestinian?
Look at the thousands, nay, millions of posters and photos of Jerusalem published by us, by our National Tourist Bureau. What do we see? What does the entire world see? A picture of the Haram al Sharif Mosque of Omar with its glittering gold dome. This is the picture that for generations we have posted for all the world to see… Jerusalem, capital of the Jewish State of Israel, revealed in all its glory by a Muslim holy place.
How can we expect UNESCO and its member nations to recognize the Jewishness of Jerusalem with a Muslim shrine as its symbol?
We have a strikingly beautiful Supreme Court building. We have a classic Knesset building with its giant menorah. Why are these places not displayed on our travel posters? Why has Israel hidden Jerusalem’s Jewish treasures from the eyes of the world?
It is not alone that UNESCO’s resolutions be disregarded for the anti-Jewish hate that they represent. It is also we who are to blame.
In this, the 69th anniversary of our independence, let our leaders look deeply into the recesses of their hearts and take immediate action to correct erroneous depictions of Jerusalem.
V’im lo achshav, aimatai? And if not now, when?
Yom haAtzmaut samayach. Am Yisrael chai lanetzach! Happy Independence Day. The nation of Israel shall live forever. Ken yehi ratzon. So may it be.