“J Street is profoundly disappointed by today’s adoption by member states of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Executive Board of a resolution that outrageously seeks to rewrite history by erasing the Jewish people’s deep historical and religious ties to the Temple Mount, known in Hebrew as Har HaBayit….The resolution notably fails to mention the site’s English or Hebrew names. Nor does it mention, except in one minor reference, the English or Hebrew names for the Western Wall plaza. These shocking omissions reveal contempt for factual history and for the Jewish people’s sacred bond to its holiest site. They are not oversights, but part of a deliberate effort by some UNESCO Member states to ignore and dismiss the importance of these holy sites to Israel and to Jewish people around the world.”
“A Golden Gate Bridge march this weekend will be part of a global effort to support Israeli women demanding their voices be included in the Middle East peace process….’We are here to raise the voices of women, because it is women who have a particular interest in peace — for our families and our children,’ Molly Freeman, a member of Women Wage Peace and of J Street’s Women’s Leadership Forum, said in an interview. ‘We are marching to inform and inspire U.S. Jews about the peace momentum in Israel — that it is there and it is female.’”
“UNESCO adopted an anti-Israel resolution Thursday that disregards Judaism’s historic connection to the Temple Mount and casts doubt on the link between Judaism and the Western Wall. Twenty-four countries voted in favor of the decision while six voted against and 26 abstained while just two were missing from the vote. The US, Britain, Germany, Holland, 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.”
Israel Suspends Cooperation With UNESCO Over Jerusalem Draft, The New York Times
Israel suspended cooperation with UNESCO on Friday, a day after the U.N. cultural agency adopted a draft resolution that Israel says denies the deep, historic Jewish connection to holy sites in Jerusalem.
Representatives of two prominent anti-occupation groups – one based in Israel and the other a sister organization of an Israeli NGO – will appear on Friday at a special session called by the United Nations Security Council on West Bank settlements. Presenting at the scheduled three-hour session will be Hagai El-Ad, executive director of B’Tselem, an organization that monitors human rights abuses in the occupied territories, and Lara Friedman, director of policy and government relations at Americans for Peace Now, the sister organization of the Israeli-based Peace Now.
Carolina Landsmann interviews General Gadi Shamni about the IDF’s belief in the need to reach a two-state solution, the importance of security cooperation with the PA, and the political power of the Israeli far right.
UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova on Friday came out against the agency’s executive board for adopting a resolution that disregards the connection between Judaism and Temple Mount and casts doubt over the link between the religion and the Western Wall. “The Al Aqsa Mosque [or] Al-Haram al-Sharif, the sacred shrine of Muslims, is also the Har HaBayit – or Temple Mount – whose Western Wall is the holiest place in Judaism,” Bokova said in a statement.
The PA statement said that the decision to adopt the UNESCO resolution reflected the “continued commitment of the majority of member states to confront impunity and uphold the principles upon which UNESCO was founded.” The statement continued to express the PA’s disappointment with several countries — mainly European — which had changed their votes that were initially in favor of the resolution, after what the statement referred to as Israel’s “PR bullying.”
Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence promised that a Trump administration would “rip up the Iran deal” at a campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina on Wednesday evening. The position of ripping the Iran nuclear deal up would go further than what Trump has expressed in the past.
Netanyahu leads angry denunciations of ‘absurd’ UNESCO decision, Times of Israel
Furious Israeli politicians accused the UN’s cultural arm of anti-Semitism Thursday in the wake of a resolution that erases the Jewish connection the Jerusalem holy sites. Lawmakers from both the right and left of the political spectrum said the decision, which refers to the Temple Mount and Western Wall only by their Muslim names and condemns Israel as “the occupying power” for various actions taken in both places, was ill-befitting of UNESCO.
Dore Gold, the director general of the Foreign Ministry, has notified Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also serves as foreign minister, that he wishes to resign. Gold has been associated with Netanyahu for 25 years.
The number of terrorist attacks perpetrated in Israel dropped in August to 93 — the lowest monthly tally on record since March 2015 and the first dip since then below the 100-incident mark.
Israeli President Hosts Quiet Meeting of Muslim and Jewish Leaders, The New York Times
Isabel Kershner reports, “The guests who arrived at the Israeli president’s home on Thursday evening were an eclectic mix. They included the chief Sephardic rabbi of Israel, the president of the Sharia Court of the Palestinian Authority and two rabbis from a West Bank yeshiva. The highly unusual meeting was intended, according to organizers, to forge a joint effort against religious violence, and to promote peace and coexistence. But, underscoring the fissures that have made the Israeli-Palestinian conflict so durable, the Palestinian religious leaders refused to be photographed, so there was no visual documentation of the meeting, and all but one refused to have their names appear in the official statements.”
Ari Shavit writes, “Now, of all times, when there is no external enemy that can threaten our home, we are undermining it with our own hands. Now, of all times, when no foreign threat jeopardizes our future, we are destroying the future. At a time when the scenario of a second Yom Kippur War is disappearing, the scenario of the Second Temple is returning — zealotry, division, unfounded hatred. The nation that was once wise is struck blind. The state that was once enlightened grows dark. Daily, hourly, Zionism is digging its own grave on the peaks of Judea and Samaria and in the abyss of the one state. After defeating the anti-Semites, the Nazis, the Arabs and the Palestinians — we are losing to the Israelis. Before the astonished eyes of history, we are turning into our own worst enemy.”
Yossi Gurvitz reviews myth and facts about the illegal West Bank outpost of Amona.
Questions, comments, or suggestions? Please email [email protected]