Israeli leaders, as well as the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, slammed a vote at the United Nations on Thursday disregarding Jewish ties to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization voted 24 to 6 to approve a resolution denying the historical connection between Jews and sacred sites in Jerusalem, drawing strong rebukes from leaders in Israel who said Jews will continue to visit the areas.
Jerusalem is home to sites significant to Judaism, Islam and Christianity, with the Temple Mount area and adjoining Western Wall considered the most holy site in the Jewish religion. The UNESCO resolution refers to the area by names used in Islam only, and does not acknowledge any link between Jews and the sacred sites.
Twenty-four countries voted for the resolution, and 26 abstained, while the United States, Britain, Germany, Holland, Lithuania and Estonia voted against it. Israeli lobbying against the resolution is said to have influenced France, Sweden, Slovenia, Argentina, Togo and India to abstain from the vote.
“To say that Israel has no connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall is like saying that China has no connection to the Great Wall of China and that Egypt has no connection to the pyramids,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after the vote on Thursday. “With this absurd decision, UNESCO lost the little legitimization it had left. But I believe that the historical truth is stronger and the truth will win.”
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said in a Facebook post that the resolution was further proof of an anti-Israel bias at the United Nations, and an advisor to Hillary Clinton expressed outrage at the resolution.
“It’s outrageous that UNESCO would deny the deep, historic connection between Judaism and the Temple Mount,” said Laura Rosenberer, a foreign policy adviser to Clinton.