(photo credit: REUTERS)
Twenty-three visiting parliamentarians called on governments around the world to reject the controversial UNESCO vote that denied Jewish ties to the Temple Mount.
In a resolution they issued from Jerusalem on Tuesday said that the resolution seeks “to deny Jerusalem’s Jewish origins and Christian beliefs and heritage.”
The resolution added that “misrepresentation of the Jewish State of Israel as an occupier, duly noting the anti-Semitic nature and effect of the term’s improper usage against the State of Israel.”
The parliamentarians were from 18 different countries and had come to the annual Jerusalem Chairman’s Conference. It is organized by the Israel Allies Foundation and is sponsored by the World Jewish Congress and the International Christian Embassy.
The resolution also stated their support for a united Jerusalem and congratulated Israel on the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem and on the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.”
It also called for Israel to assert its legal right to sovereignty and self-defense upon the entirety of its lands and territories, recognizing the need of people of all faiths for a strong and united Israel, with Jerusalem.
Former minister Gideon Saar also made reference to the UNESCO decision when he addressed the crowd. He said the threats Jerusalem faces require Israel to reinforce the city by doubling construction for Jews, connecting Maale Adumim, and developing the E-1 area in between.
"This is our national interest and sovereign right, no matter what the opinion of the international community is," Sa'ar said.
“The members of parliament who are here today, as policymakers, have the opportunity to be the first leaders who send a key message to UNESCO and the world with their joint resolution endorsing the city as Israel's eternal and undivided capital, and I wish to commend them in their effort to send the strongest possible message of support for Israel.”
Sa'ar said the fight for Jerusalem is no longer primarily waged with weapons or even diplomacy. He said it will be decided by facts on the ground.
"Limitations on new building for Jews in Jerusalem are a significant problem, especially given the housing shortage," he said. "When we Jews build it immediately brings international condemnation. At the same time, Palestinian-Arabs are building illegally on a massive scale, in an effort to connect Ramallah with Jerusalem. The demographic effect of this situation is a danger."
Sa'ar praised the faith-based diplomacy efforts of the Israel Allies Foundation that brought the MPs to Jerusalem.
"“The sovereignty of Israel, as the only democracy in the region, is important to believers of all religions, because we are the only ones who will guaranty religious freedom to all faiths," he said. "Can we even imagine what the city would look like if it were not in our hands today?”