Jerusalem Post Letters to the Editor: Readers have more to say about UNESCO

Shmuley Boteach quotes UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, who notes that the “Western Wall is the holiest place in Judaism.”

October 20, 2016 20:40
3 minute read.

Letters. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Shmuley Boteach is wrong in seeing “a silver lining” in several countries abstaining from the UNESCO vote denying the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount (“Jesus at the Aksa Mosque – the UNESCO version,” No Holds Barred, October 19).

I see nothing positive about this. On the contrary, I have written how deplorable of Spain, Italy, Sweden, Argentina and other countries to abstain rather than oppose the motion. Spain and Italy are the core of Catholicism yet cannot bring themselves to diplomatically challenge the Islamist- inspired resolution that denies not only Jewish heritage, but also the basic tenets of Christianity. And the silence of the Catholic Church is truly astonishing.

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As for Sweden, that secular nation should consider removing the cross from its national flag. Its leaders have proven themselves ignorant about the origins of Christianity and its ongoing traditions as Jewish and Christian pilgrims gather from all over the world in Jerusalem and the site of the temples for the Feast of Tabernacles.

Other countries are surrendering our enduring ties to Jerusalem and our most holy site just as easily as they themselves have been surrendering to a tsunami of people who will eventually deny them their rights and values in their own countries.

First they came for the Jews....


Shmuley Boteach quotes UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, who notes that the “Western Wall is the holiest place in Judaism.”

In doing so, he tries to show her historical integrity in the face of a board that hopes to erase the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount, and agrees with her, calling her statement “correct.”

I would like to take this opportunity to note that the Western Wall is not the “holiest place in Judaism.”

That would be the Temple Mount, where the Holy of Holies once stood. The Western Wall is merely a consolation prize for centuries of being banned from the Temple Mount (although Jews were periodically banned from the Wall as well, for example under Turkish and Jordanian rule).

The fact that Jews today believe the Western Wall to be holier than the Temple Mount indicates how successful the post-1967 erection of the Western Wall plaza has refashioned Jewish history.


Why not swap with the Wakf? Let it have the Western Wall, because it really isn’t as holy a place as we think it is. It is only the retaining wall of the Temple Mount. Let us, the Jews, have back our Temple Mount, Har Habayit, the truly holy place in Jerusalem, where we could do a little remodeling.

Let the Wakf deal with the Women of the Wall.


My husband and I recently went to Tel Hazor. We had been there many, many years ago and wanted to revisit. I had an English-language brochure. At the end, I idly turned it over to where it spoke of Tel Hazor being a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Apparently, UNESCO has six criteria for World Heritage sites. The final one says that Tel Hatzor and two other sites in Israel “through their mention in the Bible, constitute religious and spiritual testimony of outstanding universal value.”

Please note that the Bible, which has no resonance for UNESCO in relation to its shameful resolution about the Temple Mount and adjacent area, is one criteria for a World Heritage site. Why are we not using UNESCO’s own words against it? Has nobody noticed the discrepancy between its words and actions? It is my contention that we allow our adversaries too much latitude in determining the playing field. Frequently, they allow us openings with written communications.

We should hold these up to their faces to mock them.

We should also be bringing lawsuits ad infinitum, such as the legal efforts in the US after years of BDS poisoning on college campuses.

Facts still matter in a court of law.


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